Northern Silvery Kingfisher Ceyx flumenicola


Justification of Red List Category
This newly-split species qualifies as Near Threatened because its population is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid decline as a result of the loss and decline in quality of its forested lowland stream habitats.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Forest loss in the Philippines has been rapid and comprehensive. Remaining tracts of lowland forest with clear streams suitable for this species are under severe pressure and as a result it is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly.

Distribution and population

Ceyx flumenicola is endemic to the Philippines, where it occurs on Samar, Leyte and Bohol (Collar et al. 1999, Collar 2011). Formerly widespread and locally common, a comparison of pre-1970 and more recent records indicate a decline throughout its range. Since 1980, there have been documented observations from only Bohol and Leyte, but it has also recently been reported from Biliran (de Win 2011). It is shy and inconspicuous and very likely under-recorded. Nevertheless, remaining areas of lowland forest with clear streams are limited.


It appears to be reliant upon forested streams below 1,000 m (with one record from 1,120-1,350 m). It will tolerate secondary and selectively logged forest and even streamside vegetation within coconut plantations, close to forest edge, but terminalia and sago are the principal forest types where the highest densities were recorded during mist-netting in 2002-2003 (J. Ibanez in litt. 2007). It breeds in riverside banks and is apparently sedentary.


Extensive lowland deforestation throughout its range is the chief threat. Only 4% forest cover is estimated to remain on Bohol. Most remaining lowland forest is leased to logging concessions or mining applications. Watercourses with high siltation loads, resulting from deforestation, appear not to hold the species, and riverine pollution is likely to have a similar impact. Tree-cutting, agricultural expansion, including pesticide (specifically Carbofuran) contamination from commercial growing of banana, and soil erosion are all threats to Rajah Sikatuna National Park (Bohol), a key sites for the species. Conversion of terminalia forest into rice fields and oil palm plantation is driving habitat loss elsewhere. Current laws protecting riverine habitats are weak and require revision.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
There are post-1990 records from Rajah Sikatuna National Park, Bohol.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to clarify its current distribution and population status. Investigate factors affecting river pollution and determine its dependency on high-quality watercourses. Establish further protected areas at other key lowland sites (e.g. Mt Cabalantian/Capoto-an on Samar and Mt Lobi on Leyte). Encourage the legal and practical protection of riparian habitats.


14 cm. Attractive small black-and-white kingfisher. Rich royal blue underparts, isolated white belly, white upper breast and buff throat and chin. The head is mostly black with a buff loral spot and neck blaze, and white spots on side of head form a streaky supercilium. The upperparts are black, aside from a silvery blaze from rump to the top of the mantle and pearly-white tips to the median coverts. Bright red legs. Similar spp. A. argentata slightly larger with lower breast and flanks shading rapidly to greenish-blue on upper belly and flanks; also bright white chin, throat, loral spot and neck blaze. Voice Thin, high-pitched seet.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Lowen, J., Peet, N., Taylor, J. & Symes, A.

Ibanez, J. & Allen, D.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Ceyx flumenicola. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2022.