Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

American Pygmy Kingfisher Chloroceryle aenea


This tiny kingfisher is sparse, though perhaps often overlooked, throughout its large range in tropical lowlands. They are found along quiet streams in forest interior, as well as flooded várzea and swampy edges of lakes. They perch low, and generally stay concealed. Their flight is fast and buzzy. Overall, this species is unique in its minute size, but also note the buffy collar, rufous breast and flanks with white belly, and solid green back. Their most frequently-heard vocalization consists of quiet ticking notes, though they also give a more song-like series of high, rapid notes. Like other kingfishers, their nest is a burrow in an exposed bank.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more


© Bret Whitney

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

American Pygmy Kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: