Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Pelargopsis capensis (Linnaeus, 1766)

Species:P. capensis
Common Names:Stork-billed Kingfisher
Status:Uncommon resident.


Measuring at 35 cm long, the Stork-billed Kingfisher is the largest kingfisher in Singapore. Its massive red bill and red feet is very conspicuous.

Read more about the Coraciiformes order.
Read more about the Alcedinidae family.


Central Catchment forest, Changi, Japanese Garden, Kranji, Punggol, Pasir Ris, Singapore Botanical Gardens, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Serangoon, Sungei Seletar, Sungei Tampines and the offshore islands.

General Biology

It can be found in mangroves, coastal areas, reservoir edges, ponds, gardens and other inland habitats.

Like all kingfishers, the Stork-billed also casts a pellet after a meal - however, in this particular case, the video shows it casting it while it has a large fish between its mandibles, after which it bashes the fish to eventually swallow it. Obviously the pellet cast was that from a previous meal.


Feeds mainly on marine and freshwater fishes including pufferfish, armoured catfishcrayfish and crabs. Also frogs, lizards, rodents, young birds and insects and their larvae. It has been known to forage along a rotting branch.

Life Cycle

In Singapore it breeds in May to June, with both sexes excaviting a tunnel in the ground or a riverbank ending in a nesting chamber. It also nest in a rotting tree trunk, sometimes making use of a natural cavity. tow to five eggs are laid. Other information unavailable.


Wang, L. K. 2011. Kingfishers. Pp. 355. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Woodall, P. F. 2001. Family Alcedinidae (Kingfishers). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 6. Mousebirds to Hornbills. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 130-249.

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