Harman Patil (Editor)

Halcyon (genus)

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Kingdom  Animalia
Order  Coraciiformes
Subfamily  Halcyoninae
Higher classification  Tree kingfisher
Phylum  Chordata
Family  Alcedinidae
Scientific name  Halcyon
Rank  Genus
Halcyon (genus) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Lower classifications  White‑throated kingfisher, Woodland kingfisher, Black‑capped kingfisher, Ruddy kingfisher, Grey‑headed kingfisher

Halcyon (/ˈhælsiən/) is a genus of the tree kingfishers, near passerine birds in the subfamily Halcyoninae.


The following is the list of species:

  • Ruddy kingfisher, Halcyon coromanda
  • Chocolate-backed kingfisher, Halcyon badia
  • White-throated kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis
  • Grey-headed kingfisher, Halcyon leucocephala
  • Black-capped kingfisher, Halcyon pileata
  • Javan kingfisher, Halcyon cyanoventris
  • Woodland kingfisher, Halcyon senegalensis
  • Mangrove kingfisher, Halcyon senegaloides
  • Blue-breasted kingfisher, Halcyon malimbica
  • Brown-hooded kingfisher, Halcyon albiventris
  • Striped kingfisher, Halcyon chelicuti
  • However, other sources, including Fry & Fry, lump the genera Pelargopsis, Syma and Todirhamphus into Halcyon to make a much larger grouping.

    Geographic distribution

    The genus Halcyon in the current sense consists mainly of species resident in sub-Saharan Africa, with a couple of representatives in southern Asia, one of which, the white-throated kingfisher, occasionally reaches Europe. White-throated and ruddy kingfishers are at least partially migratory.


    Halcyon kingfishers are mostly large birds with heavy bills. They occur in a variety of habitats, with woodland of various types the preferred environment for most. They are “sit and wait” predators of small ground animals including large insects, rodents, snakes, and frogs, but some will also take fish.


    "Halcyon" is a name for a bird in Greek legend generally associated with the kingfisher. There was an ancient belief that the bird nested on the sea, which it calmed in order to lay its eggs on a floating nest. Two weeks of calm weather were therefore expected around the winter solstice. This myth leads to the use of halcyon as a term for peace or calmness.


    Halcyon (genus) Wikipedia

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