The river kingfishers or Alcedinidae, are one of the three families of bird in the kingfisher group. The Alcedinidae once included all kingfishers, before the widespread recognition of Halcyonidae (tree-kingfishers) and Cerylidae (water-kingfishers). The family is widespread through Africa, through east and south Asia as far as Australia, with one species, the Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) also appearing in Europe and northern Asia. The origin of the family is thought to have been in Asia.
These are brightly plumaged compact birds with short tails, large heads and long bills. They feed on insects or fish, and lay white eggs in a self-excavated burrow. Both adults incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.