The Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus) is a small kingfisher whose head, neck, upper parts and sides are deep azure blue with a violet/purple sheen (hence it’s name the Azure Kingfisher). It also has a distinctive small whitish patch on each side of its neck, as well as a small orange spot in front of each eye, towards the beak. The throat is white to pale orange, becoming a darker orange-red on the belly and undertail. It has a long slender black bill, short tail, with legs and feet that are reddish in colour.

Part of the river kingfisher subfamily, Alcedininae, the azure kingfisher is found in northern and eastern Australia and Tasmania, as well as the lowlands of New Guinea and neighbouring islands, and out to the Indonesian islands of North Maluku and Romang.

They are found along the banks of creeks, lakes, swamps, mangroves and tidal estuaries. They feed on small fish, crustaceans and a variety of insects including spiders, locusts, water beetles, small frogs and tadpoles.

Azure Kingfisher © Dorothy L
Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus) © Dorothy L

  • Scientific classification
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Coraciiformes
  • Family: Alcedinidae
  • Subfamily: Alcedininae
  • Genus: Ceyx
  • Species: C. azureus
  • Binomial name: Ceyx azureus