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Thailand's Kingfishers

There are 54 species of hornbill worldwide. Thailand has 13 species. You can see 8 species of hornbill in Khao Sok National Park.

There are many families of birds in Thailand. Uncommon and rare birds are fairly easy to see if you visit the right place. Thailand, unlike her neighbors, is a prosperous country and therefore the locals don't need to eat wild birds to survive. This is great news for birders. All of Southern Thailand's kingfishers are colorful. From the comfort of a kayak, they're easy to see as well.

Black-capped KingfisherThere are 86 species of kingfishers worldwide. Thailand has 15 species. Most of them have bright plumage. Kingfishers typically perch in trees in an upright exposed posture. They often plunge-dive in the water for food. They eat fish, shrimp, other small aquatic animals, insects and occasionally small terrestrial animals such as lizards.

Some species, such as the White-throated kingfisher, inhabit inland areas. They’re commonly seen around rice fields looking for lizards, frogs, and insects. They’re absolutely stunning when the sunlight hits their beautiful shiny blue feathers.

Blue-eared KingfisherThis is the lovely little Blue-eared Kingfisher. Luckily, it is common in Khao Sok. We see them all the time. But, you have to know where to look. They tend to be in the same coves time after time.

Unlike many of the other kingfishers, when you spook this guy he flies up into the jungle.

Brown-winged KingfisherThe Brown-winged Kingfisher is common in Phang Nga Bay and we see them all the time. Again, if you know where to look, you'll likely see one.

Common Kingfisher White-throated Kingfisher

Southern Thailand's Kingfisher Species List

  • Brown-winged Kingfisher - common around many islands in the South
  • Stork-billed Kingfisher - fairly common in Khao Sok
  • White-throated Kingfisher - common
  • Common Kingfisher - common
  • Blue-eared Kingfisher - fairly common
  • Blue-banded Kingfisher - uncommon
  • Banded Kingfisher - fairly common jungle resident, though difficult to see sometimes
  • Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Black-backed & Red-backed) - uncommon
  • White-throated kingfisher - common on power lines inland
  • Ruddy Kingfisher - uncommon to locally common
  • Collared Kingfisher - common around most islands
  • Black-capped Kingfisher - common around most islands - migratory
  • Rufous-collared Kingfisher - rarely seen, sometimes heard in one area of Khao Sok.

Note: Black-capped Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher and White-throated Kingfisher pictures taken by Portugese expert bird photographer Jorge Rodrigues.