African Pygmy Kingfisher Ispidina picta
(aka Ceyx pictus)
African Pygmy Kingfisher, Shai Hills, Ghana, May 2011 - click for larger image

Ghana
May 2011

The African Pygmy Kingfisher is distributed throughout most of tropical Africa south of the Sahara. See the distribution map at Birdlife International.

African Pygmy Kingfisher, Shai Hills, Ghana, May 2011 - click for larger image It is found in a variety of habitats such as forest edge, woodland, farmland and gardens and is not normally found near water. It feeds mainly on insects, spiders, small frogs and lizards.

It is very small at 12 cm with bright violet-blue upperparts and bright orange-rufous underparts with a white throat. The head is mainly orange-rufous with a blue and black crown and a violet wash on the ear-coverts. There is a white patch on the side of the neck. The bill and feet are coral red.

African Pygmy Kingfisher, Shai Hills, Ghana, May 2011 - click for larger image The song is a long series of high-pitched twittering notes.

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