RECORD: Gould, John. 1860. [Halcyon fulgidus, blue-and-white kingfisher] In: Birds of Asia, vol. I no. XLII. London: John Gould.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by AEL Data 5.2012. RN1



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Blue-and-white Kingfisher.

Halcyon fulgidus, Gould in Proc. Of Zool. Soc., part xxv. P. 65.

I PUBLISHED a description of this remarkably fine species of Halcyon in 1857, taken from specimens received direct from Mr. Wallace, by whom they had been collected in the island of Lombock. It is very nearly allied to the H. atrocapillus, but it is of considerably larger size, and, to my mind, is a still more beautiful species, its snow-white neck and under parts offering a striking contrast to the rich deep blue of the upper surface,—a colour interrupted only by the lengthened patch of bluish-white feathers of the rump, which feathers have the appearance of having been broken or split up, and are altogether unlike those of the remainder of the body; this mark must show conspicuously when the bird is alive, and particularly during flight. Of this very fine and rare bird two beautiful specimens grace my collection. Of these, One is somewhat smaller than the other; there also occurs a. slight difference. in the tints of the upper surface, the blue being less pure, and assuming a browner hue; this specimen has white under tail-coverts, while in the other the coverts are dark blue; in all probability, the one with the white under tail-coverts is a young bird.

The figure in the accompanying plate, and the following description, will convey a correct idea of this new and valuable discovery of Mr. Wallace.

The following description and remarks are taken from the 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society' for 1857:—

"Head, cheeks, back of the neck, back, wings, flanks, and under tail-coverts deep black, washed with rich ultramarine blue on the back of the neck, back and wings; rump-feathers glaucous or chalky-white, with black bases, and with a narrow line of blue between the black and the white portion, which alone is seen; tail deep ultramarine blue; chin, breast, and abdomen white; bill and feet coral-red.

This is an exceedingly fine species, of which I have not been able to find a description. I am therefore induced to believe it to be new."

The figures are of the natural size.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2012-. Wallace Online. (

File last updated 13 May, 2013