Wild Birds

Príncipe Kingfishers

The Príncipe Kingfishers (Corythornis cristatus nais, formerly: Alcedo nais or Alcedo leucogaster nais) are also known as Malachite Kingfishers or Principe Island Malachite Kingfishers.

These River Kingfishers are native to the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Africa.

They are mostly found in mangroves, along streams, rivers, lakes, marshes, and lagoons, below 4,100 feet (1,250 meters).

Their diet mostly consists of fish, crabs & insects.


The Principe Kingfisher was previously considered a subspecies of the White-bellied Kingfisher (Corythornis leucogaster); however, this race is now considered a subspecies of Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus) instead. (Ref. Melo, M., and J. Fuchs. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships of the Gulf of Guinea Alcedo kingfishers. Ibis 150: 633-639).

Alternate (Global) Names

Czech: ledňáček principeský … Danish: Principéisfugl, Príncipeisfugl … Estonian: príncipe jäälind … French: Martin-pêcheur de Principé… German: Principezwergfischer, Weißbauch-Zwergfischer … Italian: Martin pescatore di Principe … Japanese: kanmurikawasemi, purinshipekanmurikawasemi … Dutch: Principé-IJsvogel, Principe’s Ijsvogel … Polish: zimorodek zóltobrzuchy, zimorodek żółtobrzuchy … Slovak: rybárik ryšavý … Spanish: Martín Pescador de Príncipe … Swedish: Principekungsfiskare

Additional Web Resources:

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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