11 March 2013

Kingfishers of Arabia

Arabian Kingfishers (Click to enlarge image)

There are 5 species of Kingfisher recorded in Arabia, with the possibility of an additional species; namely Malachite Kingfisher which is considered a vagrant to the Region.

Of these, 3 are recorded in Kuwait of which White-throated Kingfisher is the easiest to find and is resident.

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) in Kuwait

Pied Kingfisher is large and unmistakable and is a lot more difficult to find. It is found in coastal, marine and inland areas.

Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) in Kuwait 
The Common Kingfisher is the smallest and generally found inland where there are reeds and freshwater pools, although I did record one on the coast last week.

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) in Kuwait
I had to travel to Salalah in Oman to find the Grey-headed Kingfisher, which I have also seen in South and East Africa

Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halycon leucocephala) in Salalah, Oman

Earlier this year, I was invited by the Environment and Protected Areas Authority of Sharjay to represent Kuwait at the 14th Conservation Workshop for the Biodiversity of Arabia and what a fantastic event this was. On the last day, we were taken to Fujeriah where we visited the protected area of Khor Kalba the home of the very small and endangered population of the Arabian Collared Kingfisher (Todirhamphus chloris kalbaensis). It is generally treated as the kalbaensis sub-species and is suspected to differ from the population of the Red Sea. However, this was my 5th and last Kingfisher seen of the Region and was an exciting tick, albeit distant and against the light. Many thanks to EPAA of Sharjah for providing this opportunity for the insightful workshop and visit to Khor Kalba.

Arabian Collared Kingfisher (Todirhamphus chloris kalbaensis) in Khor Kalba, UAE


  1. Great shots indeed! :)

  2. Excellent shots and description,How to contact u sir

  3. Just arrived in Kuwait and visited Fintas Park, nice white throated kingfisher was my first bird! Delighted!