Wild Birds

African Dwarf Kingfisher

The African Dwarf Kingfishers (Ceyx lecontei) – also known as Dwarf Kingfishers, Black-fronted Pygmy Kingfishers, Red-headed Dwarf Kingfishers or Uganda Dwarf Kingfishers – were named for their small size.

In fact, African Dwarf Kingfishers are the world’s smallest kingfishers. Similar sized to the average hummingbird – they weigh, on average, 0.32 oz (9 grams) and have a body length of about 4 inches (10 cm).


These African River Kingfishers occur naturally in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda.

Subspecies and Ranges:

  • Ceyx lecontei lecontei (Cassin, 1856) – Nominate Form
    • Range from southwestern Nigeria through Cameroon to western Gabon; from the Congo Basin to the western Rift Valley and southwestern Uganda. Isolated records exist from the Congo River mouth, northern Angola, and southwestern Sudan.
  • Ceyx lecontei ruficeps (Hartlaub, 1857)
    • Range: Occurs naturally in Liberia east to Ghana.

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ????? … Czech: Lednácek nejmenší … Danish: Sortpandet Dværgisfugl … Dutch: Bruinkopdwergijsvogel, Bruinkop-dwergijsvogel … Estonian: kääbus-jäälind … Finnish: Kääpiökalastaja … French: Martin-pêcheur à tête marron, Martin-pêcheur à tête rousse, Petit Martin-chasseur à tête cha, Petit Martin-chasseur à tête chataine, Petit Martin-chasseur à tête chtaine … German: Blutfasan, Braunkopfzwer-Fischer, Braunkopf-Zwergfischer, Waldfischer … Italian: Martin pescatore nano africano … Japanese: Kobitokawasemi … Norwegian: Knøttisfugl … Polish: Zimorodek karlowaty, zimorodek kar?owaty … Russian: ????????? ?????? ????????? … Slovak: Rybárik trpaslicí, rybárik trpasli?í … Spanish: Martín Pescador Enano Africano, Martín Pigmeo del Congo … Swedish: Svartpannad pygmékungsfiskare

Additional Resources:

  • Sound Recordings

Kingfisher InformationKingfisher Species Photo Gallery


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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