Crown of the head, and wing-coverts, deep green, spotted with azure-blue: behind the eye a patch of orange-brown passing into white.
A. Ispida, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. I. p. 423. Id. torn. III. p. 296. Common King-Fisher, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illicst. vol. I. p. 136. pl. 40. f. 1. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. II. p. 121.
Entire length seven inches three lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) one inch six lines, (from the gape) two inches; of the tarsus four lines and a half; from the carpus to the end of the wing three inches: breadth, wings extended, ten inches.
Crown of the head deep olive-green, the feathers tipped with bright azure-blue: from the upper mandible to the eye a dusky streak; behind the eye a band of orange-brown, passing on the sides of the neck into a white patch; below this, extending from the base of the lower mandible to near the insertion of the wing, a broad streak of azure-green: middle of the back, rump, and upper tail-coverts, fine bright azure: throat, and fore part of the neck, yellowish white; rest of the under parts ferruginous orange: wing-coverts and quills deep greenish blue, spotted like the crown of the head, but more sparingly: tail greenish blue; the shafts of the feathers black: bill dusky brown, reddish at the base: irides hazel: feet orange-red. (Egg). Smooth, and white; nearly round: long. diam. ten lines and a half; trans, diam. nine lines.
Generally diffused over the country, and resident all the year. Haunts the banks of rivers and clear streams, feeding on fish and aquatic insects. Is rapid on wing, and frequently utters a snrill cry in its flight. Nest placed in holes in the ground near the water's edge, consisting simply of fish bones and other indigestable parts of the food rejected from the stomach after eating. Eggs six or seven in number.