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Alcedinidae
Họ Bồng chanh

翠鸟科
cuì-niǎo kē

翠鳥科
cuì-niǎo kē

カワセミ科
kawa-semi ka

วงศ์นกกะเต็น
woŋ nók kà-ten

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Alcedinidae: MN
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Alcedinidae: MY-SG
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General

The following is based on analysis of dictionaries and other sources. Comments and corrections welcome. Malaysian names are now being updated. For consistency, Vietnamese bird names (except for ducks and chickens) are preceded by the word Chim meaning 'bird'. Ornithological lists mostly omit this as understood. Hover over Green Lettering Green lettering at this site hides a tool tip with glosses, further explanations, etc. Hover cursor to reveal. to see additional information.

Vietnamese has a variety of names for kingfishers. It is unclear how differentiated these names were in their "natural state", but ornithologists now draw nomenclatural distinctions between halcyonids, alcedinids, and cerylids.

The name Chim sả appears to particularly apply to the halcyon kingfishers. It occurs in a number of variants -- Chim sả sả ~ Chim sa sả ~ Chim trả -- and to add to the variety, the spellings xả and chả are sometimes used in place of sả and trả respectively. Some of these names are regional (e.g., Chim sa sả is used in Central and Southern Vietnam). The term màu cánh trả 'kingfisher-wing colour' in Vietnamese refers to the colour emerald or emerald green.

Chim bồng chanh is used for the Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), noted for its iridescent blue feathers.

Chim bói cá is another name for the kingfishers. It possibly means 'fish-divining bird', suggesting an uncanny ability to divine where fish are. The dictionary definition appears to fit the Common Kingfisher: 'Bird living near the water, blue feathers, brown breast, long bill, dives into the water to catch fish'. Chim bói cá sông 'river bói cá bird' is another name for the Common Kingfisher.

Chim thằng chài, possibly 'fisher-boy bird', is synonymous with Chim sả and Chim trả.

Chim đồng cốt is an intriguing name used in northern dialects, literally meaning 'witchcraft bird' or 'medium bird'.

Vietnamese also has the Chinese loan words Thúy điểu (from 翠鳥 cuì-niǎo), Chim thuý (also from 翠鳥 cuì-niǎo, where the element thuý is from Chinese), and Chim phí thuý (from 翡翠 fěi-cuì). In Chinese these refer to halcyon and alcedinid kingfishers.

Ornithological naming

From the above variety of names, the following have been applied by naturalists to the ornithological naming:

Vietnamese names Genera
Sả Halcyon kingfishers (Lacedo, Pelargopsis, Halcyon, Todiramphus)
Bồng chanh Alcedinid kingfishers (Ceyx, Alcedo)
Bói cá Cerylid kingfishers (Megaceryle, Ceryle)

However, TVC (34) uses the name Bói cá for Pelargopsis capensis and Todirhamphus chloris in preference to Sả.

Chữ Nôm

Characters used for alcedinids in the now obsolete Chữ Nôm characters include:

Name Chữ Nôm
Images from the Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation dictionary. (Errors are the sole responsibility of the author of this site)
Sả chu nom for sa or chu nom for sa
Trả chu nom for sa, chu nom for sa, chu nom for sa
Bói cá chu nom for boichu nom for ca

Species names

› ABOUT THIS TABLE‹
ALCEDININAE
SCIENTIFIC & WESTERN
VIETNAMESE
EAST ASIAN
S. E. ASIAN
Ceyx
Latin
English/French
Vietnamese
Other V
Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Malaysian
Indonesian
Ceyx erithaca
Ceyx erithacus
link to photo
Oriental dwarf kingfisher
Three-toed kingfisher

Martin-pêcheur pourpré
Ceyx erithacus:
Chim Bồng chanh đỏ
'red bồng chanh bird' (12, 34)
  三趾翠鸟
(三趾翠鳥)
sān-zhǐ cuì-niǎo
'three-toed kingfisher-bird'
Taiwan:
(三趾翠鸟)
三趾翠鳥
sān-zhǐ cuì-niǎo
'three-toed kingfisher-bird'
ミツユビカワセミ
(三つ趾翡翠 ~ 三つ趾川蝉 ~ 三つ趾魚狗)
mitsu-yubi kawa-semi
'three-toed river kingfisher₁'
นกกะเต็นน้อยสามนิ้วหลังดำ
nók kà-ten nóaay săam-níw lăŋ-dam
'black-backed three-toed little kingfisher (bird)'
Burung Pekaka Api
'fire kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (26)
Burung Pekaka Rimba
'jungle kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (24) (Conflicts with Lacedo pulchella and Actenoides concretus)
Burung Pekaka Sepah
'scarlet kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (25)
Burung Udang Api
'fire shrimp-bird'
Alcedo
Latin
English/French
Vietnamese
Other V
Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Malaysian
Indonesian
Alcedo meninting
link to photo
Blue-eared kingfisher

Martin-pêcheur méninting
Chim Bồng chanh tai xanh
'blue/green-eared bồng chanh bird' (12, 34)
  蓝耳翠鸟
(藍耳翠鳥)
lán-ěr cuì-niǎo
'blue-eared kingfisher-bird'
ルリカワセミ
(瑠璃翡翠 ~ 瑠璃川蝉 ~ 瑠璃魚狗 ~ 琉璃翡翠 ~ 琉璃川蝉 ~ 琉璃魚狗)
ruri kawa-semi
'lapis lazuli river kingfisher₁'
นกกะเต็นน้อยหลังสีน้ำเงิน
nók kà-ten nóaay lăŋ-sĭi-nám-ŋoen
'blue-backed little kingfisher (bird)'
Burung Pekaka Bintik-bintik
'freckled kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (24, 25)
Burung Binti-Binti
'freckled bird' (26)
Burung Raja-udang Meninting
'forktail shrimp-king-bird'
Alcedo hercules
link to photo
Blyth's kingfisher

Martin-pêcheur de Blyth
Chim Bồng chanh rừng
'forest bồng chanh bird' (12, 13, 34)
  斑头大翠鸟
(斑頭大翠鳥)
bān-tóu dà cuì-niǎo
'stripe-headed large kingfisher-bird'
オオカワセミ
(大翡翠 ~ 大川蝉 ~ 大魚狗)
ō kawa-semi
'large river kingfisher₁'
นกกะเต็นเฮอคิวลิส
nók kà-ten hoee-kʰiw-lít
'Hercules kingfisher (bird)' (hoee-kʰiw-lít from English 'Hercules')
   
Alcedo atthis
link to photolink to photolink to photo
Common kingfisher
River kingfisher

Martin-pêcheur d'Europe
Chim Bồng chanh
'bồng chanh bird' (12, 13, 34)
Chim Chinh chinh
'chinh chinh bird' (34)
Chim bói cá sông
'river bói cá bird' ( = 'fish')
普通翠鸟
(普通翠鳥)
pǔtōng cuì-niǎo
'common kingfisher-bird'

Taiwan:
(翠鸟)
翠鳥
cuì-niǎo
'kingfisher-bird'
カワセミ
(翡翠 ~ 川蝉 ~ 魚狗)
kawa-semi
'river kingfisher₁'
นกกะเต็นน้อยธรรมดา
nók kà-ten nóaay tʰam-ma-daa
'common little kingfisher (bird)'
Burung Raja Udang
'shrimp-king bird' (26)
Burung Pekaka Cit-cit Kecil
'small cit-cit kingfisher (bird)' (onomat., cit-cit is from species call) (24)
Burung Pekaka Cit-cit
'cit-cit kingfisher (bird)' (onomat., cit-cit is from species call) (25)
Burung Raja-udang Erasia
'Eurasian shrimp-king-bird'
 
CERYLINAE
SCIENTIFIC & WESTERN
VIETNAMESE
EAST ASIAN
S. E. ASIAN
Megaceryle
Latin
English/French
Vietnamese
Other V
Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Malaysian
Indonesian
Megaceryle lugubris
Ceryle lugubris
link to photo
Crested kingfisher
Greater pied kingfisher
Crested pied kingfisher
Pied kingfisher

Martin-pêcheur tacheté
Chim Bói cá lớn
'large bói cá bird' ( = 'fish') (12, 13, 34)
Chim Bói cá mào
'crested bói cá bird' ( = 'fish') (alt in 34)
  冠鱼狗
(冠魚狗)
guān yú-gǒu
'crested fish-dog'
ヤマセミ
(山翡翠 ~ 山魚狗)
yama-semi
'mountain kingfisher₁'
นกกะเต็นขาวดำใหญ่
nók kà-ten kʰăaw-dam yày
'large black (&) white kingfisher (bird)'
   
Ceryle
Latin
English/French
Vietnamese
Other V
Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Malaysian
Indonesian
Ceryle rudis
link to photolink to photo
Pied kingfisher
Lesser pied kingfisher

Alcyon pie
Chim Bói cá nhỏ
'small bói cá bird' ( = 'fish') (12, 13, 34)
  斑鱼狗
(斑魚狗)
bān yú-gǒu
'striped fish-dog'
Taiwan:
(斑翡翠)
斑翡翠
bān fěicuì
'striped kingfisher'
ヒメヤマセミ
(姫山翡翠 ~ 姫山魚狗)
hime yama-semi
'princess mountain kingfisher₁'
นกกะเต็นปักหลัก
nók kà-ten pàk-làk
'hoverer-kingfisher (bird)'
   
 
HALCYONINAE
SCIENTIFIC & WESTERN
VIETNAMESE
EAST ASIAN
S. E. ASIAN
Lacedo
Latin
English/French
Vietnamese
Other V
Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Malaysian
Indonesian
Lacedo pulchella
link to photo
Banded kingfisher

Martin-chasseur mignon
Chim Sả vằn
'striped halcyon bird' (12, 34)
  横斑翠鸟
(橫斑翠鳥)
héng-bān cuì-niǎo
'horizontal-striped kingfisher-bird' (4)
斑翠鸟
(斑翠鳥)
bān cuì-niǎo
'striped kingfisher-bird' (5)
カザリショウビン
(飾り翡翠)
kazari shōbin
'decorative kingfisher₂'
นกกะเต็นลาย
nók kà-ten laay
'striped kingfisher (bird)'
Burung Pekaka Rimba
'jungle bright-kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (26) (Conflicts with Ceyx erithacus and Actenoides concretus)
or
Burung Kaing-Kaing Bukit
'hill kaing-kaing bird' (onomat., from species call) (alt in 26)
Burung Pekaka Kaing-Kaing
'kaing-kaing kingfisher bird' (onomat., kaing-kaing from species call) (25)
Burung Pekaka Riang Rimba
'jungle bright-kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (24)
Burung Cekakak Batu
'rock kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.)
Pelargopsis
Latin
English/French
Vietnamese
Other V
Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Malaysian
Indonesian
Pelargopsis capensis
Halcyon capensis
link to photolink to photo
Stork-billed kingfisher

Martin-chasseur gurial
Chim Sả mỏ rộng
'large-billed halcyon bird' (12, 13)
Chim Bói cá mỏ cò
'stork-billed bói cá bird' ( = 'fish') (34)
鹳嘴翡翠
(鸛嘴翠鳥)
guàn-zuǐ fěicuì
'stork-billed kingfisher'
コウハシショウビン
(鸛嘴翡翠)
kō-hashi shōbin
'stork-billed kingfisher₂'
นกกะเต็นใหญ่ธรรมดา
nók kà-ten yày tʰam-ma-daa
'common large kingfisher (bird)'
นกกำกวม
nók kam-kuam
'storkbilledkingfisher (bird)'
Burung Pekaka Emas
'gold kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (26)
or
Burung Buaya
'crocodile bird' (alt in 26) (Conflicts with P. amauroptera)
Burung Pekaka Buaya
'crocodile kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (25)
Burung Pekaka Paruh Besar
'large-billed kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (24)
Burung Pekaka Emas
'gold kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.)
›Name‹
Halcyon
Latin
English/French
Vietnamese
Other V
Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Malaysian
Indonesian
Halcyon coromanda
link to photo
Ruddy kingfisher

Martin-chasseur violet
Chim Sả hung
'reddish halcyon bird' (12, 13, 34)
  赤翡翠
(赤翡翠)
chì fěicuì
'red kingfisher'
Taiwan:
(赤翡翠)
赤翡翠
chì fěicuì
'red kingfisher'
アカショウビン
(赤翡翠)
aka shōbin
'red kingfisher₂'
นกกะเต็นแดง
nók kà-ten daeeŋ
'red kingfisher (bird)'
Burung Pekaka Ungu
'purple kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (26)
Burung Pekaka Belacan
'speckled kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (24, 25)
Burung Cekakak Merah
'red kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.)
Halcyon smyrnensis
link to photolink to photo
White-throated kingfisher
White-breasted kingfisher
Smyrna Kingfisher

Martin-chasseur de Smyrne
Chim Sả đầu nâu
'brown-headed halcyon bird' (12, 13, 34)
  白胸翡翠
(白胸翡翠)
bái-xiōng fěicuì
'white-breasted kingfisher'
Taiwan:
(苍翡翠)
蒼翡翠
cāng fěicuì
'darkblue kingfisher'
アオショウビン
(青翡翠)
ao shōbin
'blue/green kingfisher₂'
นกกะเต็นอกขาว
nók kà-ten òk-kʰăaw
'white-breasted kingfisher (bird)'
Burung Pekaka Dada Putih
'white-breasted kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (26)
Burung Pekaka Belukar
'thicket kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (24)
Burung Pekaka Dusun
'backwoods kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (25)
Burung Cekakak Belukar
'thicket kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.)
Halcyon pileata
link to photo
Black-capped kingfisher

Martin-chasseur à coiffe noire
Chim Sả đầu đen
'black-headed halcyon bird' (12, 13, 34)
  蓝翡翠
(藍翡翠)
lán fěicuì
'blue kingfisher'
Taiwan:
(黑头翡翠)
黑頭翡翠
hēi-tóu fěicuì
'black-headed kingfisher'
ヤマショウビン
(山翡翠)
yama shōbin
'mountain kingfisher₂'
นกกะเต็นหัวดำ
nók kà-ten hŭa-dam
'black-headed kingfisher (bird)'
Burung Pekaka Kepala Hitam
'black-headed kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (26)
Burung Pekaka Kopiah Hitam
'black-capped kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (24, 25)
Burung Cekakak Cina
'Chinese kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.)
Todiramphus
Latin
English/French
Vietnamese
Other V
Chinese
Japanese
Thai
Malaysian
Indonesian
Todiramphus chloris
Todirhamphus chloris
Halcyon chloris
link to photolink to photo
Collared kingfisher
White-collared kingfisher

Martin-chasseur à collier blanc
Halcyon chloris (12):
Chim Sả khoang cổ
'streak-necked halcyon bird' (12, 13)
Chim Bói cá khoang cổ
'streak-necked bói cá bird' ( = 'fish') (34)
白领翡翠
(白領翡翠)
bái-lǐng fěicuì
'white-collared kingfisher'
Taiwan:
(白领翡翠)
白領翡翠
bái-lǐng fěicuì
'white-collared kingfisher'
ナンヨウショウビン
(南洋翡翠)
nan'yō shōbin
'south seas kingfisher₂'
นกกินเปี้ยว
nók kin-pîaw
'fiddlercrab-eater (bird)' (18, 21)
Burung Pekaka Bakau
'mangrove kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (26, 25)
Burung Pekaka Sungai
'river kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.) (24)
Burung Cekakak Sungai
'river kingfisher (bird)' (onomat.)

翡翠 fěicuì is an ancient name signifying 'red feathers' () + 'blue feathers' (), for which certain kingfishers were prized. In modern times Chinese ornithologists have for mostly restricted the name 翡翠 fěicuì to the halcyonid kingfishers, although Taiwan still uses it for a cerylid kingfisher.

翠鸟 cuì-niǎo, literally 'bluefeather-bird', using the second character in 翡翠 fěicuì, is a long-standing general kingfisher name most closely associated with the widespread Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis. As a modern ornithological name it is also extended to other members of the genus Alcedo.

ショウビン shōbin is used ornithologically for the halcyonid kingfishers. All Japanese kingfisher names can be written 翡翠, a Chinese name for the kingfishers. In addition to ショウビン shōbin, 翡翠 can be read as カワセミ kawa-semi, ヒスイ hisui, and セミ semi (in the name ヤマセミ yama-semi only), all meaning 'kingfisher'. (To distinguish the names here, ショウビン shōbin is called 'kingfisher₂'. セミ semi is 'kingfisher₁'.)

カワセミ kawa-semi, literally 'river kingfisher', is used ornithologically for the alcedinid kingfishers. Traditionally written in at least three ways:
1. 翡翠, a Chinese name for the kingfishers, which may also be read as ショウビン shōbin, ヒスイ hisui, or (in ヤマセミ yama-semi 'mountain kingfisher') as セミ semi, all meaning 'kingfisher'. 2. 川蝉, literally 'river cicada', using the character for the homonymous word meaning 'cicada' (セミ semi). 3. 魚狗 'fish-dog', another Chinese name for the kingfishers. 1. and 3. both use a Chinese name as a whole to write カワセミ kawasemi. Neither thus contains an individual character representing 'river' (カワ kawa).
(To distinguish the names here, セミ semi is called 'kingfisher₁' and ショウビン shōbin is 'kingfisher₂')

ルリ ruri 'lapis lazuli' may be written two ways in Japanese: 瑠璃 or 琉璃.

ヤマセミ yama-semi, made up of ヤマ yama 'mountain' plus セミ semi 'kingfisher', is used ornithologically for the cerylid kingfishers. Traditionally written either 1. 'mountain' + 翡翠 'kingfisher' (the latter a Chinese word meaning 'kingfisher'), or 2. 'mountain' + 魚狗 'fish-dog' (the latter being another Chinese word for 'kingfisher'.) 翡翠 is also used to write the kingfisher names カワセミ kawa-semi, ショウビン shōbin and ヒスイ hisui. 魚狗 is also used to write the name カワセミ kawa-semi.

Chim sống ở gần nước, lông xanh, ngực nâu, mỏ dài, hay nhào xuống nước để bắt cá

The usual meaning of กำกวม kam-kuam is 'obscure, unclear, cryptic, vague, etc', but there is also an unrelated meaning of 'stork-billed kingfisher' whose etymology is unclear.

is a general name for storks (excluding adjutants), ibises, and certain types of medium-sized ardeid.

世界鸟类分类与分布名录 主编:郑光美 科学出版社 北京 2002年
A Checklist on the Classification and Distribution of the Birds of the World Chief editor: Zheng Guangmei, Science Press, Beijing 2002

世界鸟类名称(拉丁文、汉文、英文对照)第二版 郑作新等 科学出版社 北京 2002年
Birds of the World (Latin, Chinese and English Names) 2nd ed. by Cheng Tso-Hsin et al, Science Press, Beijing 2002

Danh Lục Chim Việt Nam (In lần thứ hai) (Checklist of the Birds of Vietnam) Võ Quý, Nguyễn Cử, Nhà Xuất Bản Nông Nghiệp, Hà Nội 1999

Chim Việt Nam Nguyễn Cử, Lê Trọng Trải, Karen Phillipps; Nhà Xuất Bản Lao Động - Xã Hội, 2000

Check-list of Thai Birds Round, Philip D, Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, Bangkok 2008

นกในเมืองไทย รศ. โอภาส ขอบเขตต (Birds in Thailand, Assoc. Prof. Obhas Khobkhet), in 5 volumes, Sarakadee Press, Bangkok, 1998-2001

Senarai Nama-nama Burung Semenanjung Malaysia dan Asia Tenggara by Ismail, Abdul Rahman, Perhilitan (Jabatam Perlindungan Hidupan Liar dan Taman Negara, Semenanjung Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur 1981
(List of the Names of Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Southeast Asia by Ismail, Abdul Rahman, Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsular Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 1981)

The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 - Non-passerines by Wells, David R., Academic Press, London 1999

A Field Guide to the Birds of West Malaysia and Singapore by Jeyarajasingam, Allen and Alan Pearson, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999

Danh Lục Các Loài Chim ở Việt Nam (Latinh, Việt, Pháp, Hán) Trần Văn Chánh 2008-2009