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 Actenoides bougainvillei

This taxon is Not Recognised as a species by BirdLife International.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Taxonomic note
Actenoides bougainvillei and A. excelsus (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as A. bougainvillei following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Halcyon bougainvillei Collar and Andrew (1988), Halcyon bougainvillei bougainvillei Collar and Andrew (1988)

27 cm. Beautiful but very cryptic forest kingfisher. Largely rufous with blue wings, rump and tail with distinctive blue moustachial and eye-stripes and red bill. Similar spp. Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sancta has paler buff underparts and collar. Variable Kingfisher Ceyx lepidus is much smaller. Voice Guadalcanal birds call before dawn and after dusk: a loud, ringing series of ko-ko-ko... notes. Hints Birds call daily but are very difficult to see above Betilonga on Guadalcanal. Learn the call and listen before dawn.

Distribution and population
Actenoides bougainvillei has two subspecies: bougainvillei on Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and excelsa on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. There are a few specimens from Bougainville, the last taken in 1938, and three from Guadalcanal, the last taken in 1953 (Mayr 1945, Cain and Galbraith 1956), and then no definite records until 1994. It is very unobtrusive and crepuscular and is liable to have been overlooked unless the call is known. In 1994 and 1997, it was found to be frequent in montane forest above the abandoned Betilonga village on Guadalcanal. Calls were heard from up to six locations from a camp at 1,500 m. If each call relates to a different bird, then the local density was 75 calling birds per km2, but much forest at this altitude is unsuitable for this species (D. Gibbs in litt. 1994, Gibbs 1996, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997). No other montane sites have been visited on Guadalcanal. On Bougainville, calls believed to be of this species were heard in 1986 on the edge of lowland swamp-forest near Arawa (Bishop 1987) and a pair was reportedly watched at a nest-hole in the late 1980s (K. D. Bishop in litt. 1983).

Observations and reports from Guadalcanal indicate that it only occurs in closed-canopy forest between 900-1,100 m and at least 1,550 m. Calls were not heard from the many patches of more open forest, damaged by cyclones and land-slides (D. Gibbs in litt. 1994, Gibbs 1996, G. Dutson pers. obs. 1997). On Guadalcanal, it is reported to nest in holes in the ground, sometimes in forest but usually in riverbanks (Gibbs 1996). It appears to be a lowland species on Bougainville where it is very poorly known, but there is a report of it nesting in an arboreal ant-plant (Mayr 1945, K. D. Bishop in litt. 1983).

The Guadalcanal subspecies occurs at altitudes above human activity. As a hole-nesting species, it is potentially threatened by introduced rats and cats which are found at high altitudes (Leary 1991). The Bougainville subspecies appears to occur in the lowlands which have been partially logged and heavy logging is likely to recommence once the island re-opens to commercial exploitation.

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
On Guadalcanal, search for more readily accessible populations above Gold Ridge. Survey other montane sites, especially from the south coast. Survey prevalence of introduced mammalian predators in mountains. Research population densities and basic ecology above Betilonga. Survey the population on Bougainville. Establish a system of community-based conservation areas.

Bishop, K. D. 1987. Interesting bird observations in Papua New Guinea. Muruk 2(2): 52-57.

Cain, A. J.; Galbraith, I. C. J. 1956. Field notes on the birds of the eastern Solomon Islands. Ibis 98: 100-134, 262-295.

Gibbs, D. 1996. Notes on Solomon Island birds. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 116: 18-25.

Leary, T. 1991. Solomon Islands: state of the environment report. Environment and Conservation Division, Ministry of Natural Resources, Solomon Islands, Honiara.

Mayr, E. 1945. Birds of the southwest Pacific: a field guide to the birds of the area between Samoa, New Caledonia and Micronesia. Macmillan, New York.

Further web sources of information
View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Derhé, M., Dutson, G., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Stattersfield, A.

Bishop, K., Dutson, G., Gibbs, D.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Actenoides bougainvillei. Downloaded from on 03/07/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/07/2015.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Not Recognised
Family Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
Species name author (Rothschild, 1904)