Widely-distributed around the world, though concentrated in the Southern Hemisphere continents, the kingfishers are well-known as fish-eaters, but despite their name, most members of this family take a wide variety of vertebrate and invertebrate prey. Characteristics include a relatively large head with a long dagger-shaped bill, short legs and weak feet, in which the second and third front toes are fused at the base. Members of this family are grouped into three sub-families, of which two are represented in Indonesia and the surrounding region. Smallest in size are the jewel-like dwarf kingfishers (Alcedininae), which have very short tails and fine, laterally-compressed bills; one group (genus Alcedo) of these birds lives beside water bodies, feeding on small fish and crustaceans, while the other (genus Ceyx) inhabits forests, catching invertebrates from the ground or low foliage. These birds also have thin high-pitched voices and usually nest in burrows. The other sub-family (wood kingfishers, Halcyoninae) is characterized by longer tails and heavier bills, which are used to catch a wide variety of prey, including worms, frogs and lizards. Their calls are strident or mournful, and often nest in dead trees or termite nests. Java has 14 species, of which six are dwarf kingfishers and eight, wood kingfishers.
Direct, with fast wing flapping, often as call