Genus Chloroceryle (American Green Kingfishers) Species Identification Guide

The genus Chloroceryle, a genus of Kingfishers, contains 4 species which are found from southern Texas to central Argentina. They all have the typical Kingfisher shape (short tail, long bill) and are oily-green above. This journal post will provide a quick overview of each species and how to identify them.

The American Pygmy Kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea) is 13 centimeters long (5.1 inches) and weighs 10-16 grams (0.35-0.56 ounces). It is oily-green above, with a yellow-orange collar around the neck. It also has rufous underparts and a white belly. This white belly differentiates this species from the otherwise similar Green-and-rufous Kingfisher. The Green-and-rufous Kingfisher is also much larger. Its call is a stony "cht cht" or a weak "tik". This species occurs in dense forests and mangrove swamps along small streams and rivers that have heavily vegetated banks. Map of observations:

The Green-and-rufous Kingfisher (Chloroceryle inda) is 24 centimeters (9.4 inches) long and weighs 46-62 grams (1.6-2.2 ounces). Males weigh 46 to 60 grams, and females weigh 53 to 62 grams. This species is similar to the American Pygmy Kingfisher, but is larger and lacks a white belly. The adult female has a breast band that consists on green-tipped white feathers. This species has dark brown eyes and grey legs. Its call is "chip-chip-chip", as well as some twittering. This species breeds by rivers and streams in dense lowland forests. Map of observations:

The Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana) is 20 centimeters (7.9 inches) long. The male weighs 29-40 grams (1-1.4 ounces), and the female weighs 33-55 grams (1.2-1.9 ounces). This species is oily-green above, with extensive white markings on the wings and tail, and a white collar around the neck. Males have white underparts, except for a broad chestnut breast band and some green spots on the flanks. Females have white underparts, except for two green chest bands. Both sexes have a green, central semi-collar, wich distinguishes this species from the Amazon Kingfisher when looking from the front. This species gives a pebbly rattling call. This species breeds in streams in forests or mangroves. Map of observations:

The Amazon Kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona) is 30 centimeters (12 inches) long and weighs 98-140 grams. This species resembles the Green Kingfisher, but lacks the white markings on the wings the Green Kingfisher has. Males have white underparts, with a chestnut breast brand and green streaks on the flanks. Females have white underparts as well, with green patches on the side of the chest and green flanks. The call is a harsh "teck". The rarely heard song is "see see see see". This species breeds by streams. This species is the largest in its genus, and the most likely to be seen near large rivers. Map of observations:

Posted on October 16, 2022 03:23 AM by salmonadder salmonadder


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