Amazon Kingfisher: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Amazon Kingfisher Fact File

The Amazon kingfisher, or the Chloroceryle amazona, is a brightly colored bird species that is petite, agile, and abundant across Mexico and Central and South America. They are popularly spotted by avid bird watchers perching on branches or rocks close to water before then plunging headfirst into the water to catch their prey.

The first official description of the Amazon kingfisher came from the English ornithologist John Latham in 1790, under the binominal name of Alcedo amazona. The present-day genus, Chloroceryle, was fixed via the works of Johann Jakob Kaup in the year 1848. This is a monotypic species, which means that it has only one species or genus.

If you like these facts and information, you should check out Kidadl's fact files on the red kite facts and swallow-tailed kite facte.

Amazon Kingfisher

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Crustaceans, fish, small reptiles, insects, amphibians

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.2-0.3 lb (110-130 g)

How long are they?

11.4-11.8 in (29-30 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark blue, green, white

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Habitat loss, climate change

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Coasts, lakes, streams, bays, ponds, waterside habitats


Central America, Southern Mexico, Northern Argentina





Scientific Name

Chloroceryle amazona





Amazon Kingfisher Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Amazon kingfisher?

The Amazon kingfishers, just like the green kingfisher, are resident breeding kingfishers found within the lowlands of the American tropics from southern Mexico south via Central America till northern Argentina. Some other well-known kingfishers include the malachite kingfisher, blue-eared kingfisher, and the banded kingfisher.

What class of animal does an Amazon kingfisher belong to?

The Amazon kingfisher (Chloroceryle Amazona), which is larger than its relative and three to four times as heavy as the green kingfisher, belongs to the Aves class of animals.

How many Amazon kingfishers are there in the world?

The Amazon kingfishers are often seen on large rivers, and the estimated population of this bird species is between 500000-4999999. Though the population of these birds is slowly declining, they are not rare to find as such.

Where does an Amazon kingfisher live?

Amazon kingfishers live within the tropical lowlands of southern Mexico, south via Central America to northern Argentina, with at least one bird having strayed north to Texas. They are resident birds which means that they do not migrate. These birds stay close to a riverbank for food supply.

What is an Amazon kingfisher habitat?

The Amazon kingfisher resembles the green kingfisher, and their habitat preference is also the same. Amazon kingfishers are found perched on a branch or rock close to water before plunging in headfirst to catch a fish for food. Amazon kingfishers are often seen on large rivers on a branch or rock close to water where they can go plunging in headfirst. This species of bird, which is larger than its relative, the green kingfisher, is located in almost any waterside habitat.

Who does Amazon kingfisher live with?

The Amazon kingfisher (Chloroceryle Amazona) live in pairs after the first year during the breeding season. Since the male and the female are from neighboring territories, these birds will come together to mate.

How long does an Amazon kingfisher live?

The Amazon kingfisher is a species of bird with a shaggy crest that lives for up to two years in the wild. The green kingfisher also shares the same lifespan as these species of birds.

How do they reproduce?

The Amazon kingfisher (Chloroceryle Amazona) breeds near streams. The unlined nest is built in a horizontal tunnel made in a riverbank. The Amazon kingfisher female, similar to the green kingfisher female, lays three, sometimes four, white eggs. The Amazon kingfisher female lacks the white markings on the wings that are found on the green kingfishers. The hatchlings are blind, naked, and helpless and require care and feeding through the parents, who carry the meals into the nesting chamber. They mature fast, and shortly the chicks are capable of traveling in the direction of the entrance of the tunnel, wherein they come across the adults and wait to be fed. Eventually, they're fed perched on a branch. Fledglings can last from a few days to three weeks. After that, the young ones might be on their own and might feed themselves.

What is their conservation status?

These birds that have a short tail and long bill are categorized as of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.

Amazon Kingfisher Fun Facts

What does Amazon kingfisher look like?

The Amazon kingfisher resembles the green kingfisher and also shares its range. This species of bird has a very typical kingfisher shape with a short tail and long bill. The back of this bird is a slick oily green with a shaggy crest and a white collar around the neck. The Amazon kingfisher lacks the white markings on the wings that are found on the green kingfisher. Amazon kingfisher males have white underparts and a broad chestnut breast band with green streaks on the wings shown. The female of this species of bird has white underparts and green patches at the side of the chest and green streaks on the wings shown by them.

How cute are they?

Amazon kingfishers are quite cute to look at. Their shaggy crest and a white collar around the neck give a boost to their appearance.

How do they communicate?

These birds regularly utter a rough call. The song, which is hardly ever heard, is sung from a treetop and is a high pitch whistle sound that goes 'see see see see.'

How big is an Amazon kingfisher?

The Amazon kingfisher is 11.4-11.8 in (29-30 cm) long and weighs 0.2-0.3 lb (110-130 g). Though they are not big birds, the female lays three, sometimes four, white eggs, all 5.2 ft (1.6 m) long and 3.9 in (10 cm) wide.

How fast can an Amazon kingfisher swim?

The Amazon kingfisher cannot swim for a long period of time but can dive at 25 mph (40.2 kph) in the water before plunging to catch a fish. This species shares its range of speed with the green kingfisher.

How much does an Amazon kingfisher weigh?

The Amazon kingfisher (Chloroceryle Amazona) is three to four times as heavy as the green kingfisher.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no different names for the male and female of this species.

What would you call a baby Amazon kingfisher?

Baby Amazon kingfishers are called fledglings.

What do they eat?

The Amazon kingfisher primarily breeds by streams. The unlined nest is close to the water so that it can catch different prey. This bird's diet usually consists of crustaceans, fish, small reptiles, insects, and amphibians.

Are they dangerous?

They are not at all dangerous to humans and do not harm them. However, they are widely known for their aggressive hunting skills.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they would not make a good pet as they need to hunt in the wild and build nests for themselves. They are restricted from being sold at stores as well.

Did you know...

The Amazon kingfisher is much larger than its relative and three to four times as heavy as the green kingfisher.

The nests are built with the help of each male and female. They will take turns burrowing out a tunnel with their feet, after which they'll hollow out a slim chamber on the end of the tunnel where they're going to lay their eggs in. They spend approximately three to seven days building their nest.

The Amazon kingfisher is seen to perch on rocks and branches beside a water body and is then seen plunging headfirst into the water to follow and catch its prey.

What is special about the kingfisher bird?

Legend has it that the kingfisher was the first bird to fly out from Noah's ark after the deluge. It supposedly acquired the orange of the sun on its breast and the blue of the sky on its back and was therefore taken into consideration as an image of love, peace, and prosperity.

Do Amazon kingfishers dive underwater?

Yes, Amazon kingfishers dive underwater to catch fish and other prey for food supplies. They can dive into the water as deep as 2 ft (0.6 m) below the water surface at a great speed.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our gray-cheeked parakeet facts and stilt owl facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Amazon kingfisher coloring pages.



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