solitary, Stork-billed Kingfishers are territorial and will also chase away
even larger birds like storks and eagles from their feeding and breeding
grounds. Only occasionally are they found in pairs.
Pekaka Paruh Pendek, Pekaka Buaya/Mas
Kingfishers are the largest Kingfishers found in Singapore. But they
are rarely sighted because they are shy and less noisy than other
Stork-billed Kingfishers eat mainly fishes, using their large heavy
bills to good effect to catch and kill their prey. From their perch,
usually about 2-4 m above the water, they will plunge into the water.
They also eat crabs, insects, frogs, mice, lizards, birds and their
eggs. Prey is brought back and whacked senseless against the perch.
They usually hunt near water both freshwater and along coasts and
mangroves, particularly in habitats with suitable perches. Unlike
the Collared, Stork-billed Kingfishers are rarely found near urban
and wetland wildlife at
Sungei Buloh Nature Park
features: The largest (37cm, 140-200g, females
usually heavier); bill large (18-20cm) coral-red; upper
parts blue; head brown; collar and underparts orange-yellow;
As above. Genders look alike.
Juvenile: Like the adult
but with narrow dusky fringes on the collar, lower throat
and breast and buff-green fringing on upper tail coverts.
Call: Described as flutey
3-4 note fuey falling in pitch; a loud ke-ke-keke-ke-ke
in flight. Also a squawking cackle.
In flight: Plain blue wings;
big red bill.
(H. chloris): has black bill and feet; the Stork-billed
has no white collar.
(H. smyrnensis): the Stork-billed has no underparts.
(H. pileata): the Stork-billed has no white collar.
Status in Singapore: Uncommon
resident throughout the island and North and South offshore
World distribution: India
across the Asian subcontinent and Southeast Asia to Sulawesi.
Classification: Family Alcedinidae,
subfamily Dacelonidae. World 61 species, Singapore 5 species.
Breeding: Stork-billed Kingfishers dig
out a tunnel nest in among other things: river banks, termite and ants'
nests (include a nest made 6 m high up in a tree), and a hollow tree trunk.
2-5 white eggs are laid. Little else is known about their breeding habits.
For more about the hunting methods and breeding
habits of Kingfishers in general.
Status and threats: Although not very
common, Stork-billed Kingfishers are not considered at risk in Singapore.
They are found near freshwater wetlands (ponds, reservoirs, rivers) as well
as brackish and coastal areas; and the edges of forest and cultivated lands.
- Morten Strange,
"A Photographic Guide to Birds of Malaysia and Singapore: including
Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Borneo", Periplus, 2000
(p. 181: description, voice, habits, distribution, status, photo).
- David R Wells,
"The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passarines)",
Academic Press, 1999 (p. 507-509: identification, distribution map,
habits, habitat, migration, conservation).
- Lim Kim Seng,
"Pocket Checklist of the Birds of the Republic of Singapore",
Nature Society (Singapore), 1999 (Abundance, status, Chinese and Malay
- Lim Kim Seng and
Dana Gardner, "Birds: An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds
of Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing Ltd., 1997 (p. 32: identification,
status in Singapore, distribution, diagram, number of species)
- G W H Davison
and Chew Yen Fook, "A Photographic Guide to Birds of Peninsular
Malaysia and Singapore", New Holland Publishers Ltd., 1995
(p. 60: identification, status in Singapore, distribution, photo).
- Morten Strange
and Allen Jeyarajasingam, "Birds: A Photographic Guide to the
Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing,
1993 (p. 83: description, distribution, habits, habitat, photo).
- Lim Kim Seng,
"Vanishing Birds of Singapore", Nature Society (Singapore),
1992 (p. 11: status in Singapore).
- M W F Tweedie,
"Common Birds of the Malay Peninsula", Longman,1970
(p. 29: brief description).
- G C Madoc, "An
Introduction to Malayan Birds", Malayan Nature Society, 1947
(p. 97: description, habits, habitat).
- Sir John A S Bucknill
and E N Chasen, " Birds of Singapore and South-East Asia",
Tynron Press, 1927, edition 1990 (p. 117-118: identification, status
in Singapore, distribution, field notes on habits, drawings).
- C Hillary Fry
and Kathie Fry, "Kingfishers, Bee-Eaters and Rollers: A Handbook",
Christopher Helm, 1992 (p. 137-9: identification, habitat, habits, diagrams
- Prof. Dr. Yong
Hoi Sen (ed.), "The Encyclopedia of Malaysia: Animals";
Kingfishers and Woodpeckers by Siti Hawa bt Yatim, Editions Didier Millet,
1998 (p. 56: habits, habitats).