• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Sacred Kingfisher - BirdForum Opus

Adult
Photo © by Peter Day
Darwin, Australia, May 2015
Todiramphus sanctus

Halcyon sancta, Todirhamphus sancta

Identification

22 cm (8¾ in)

  • Turquoise back, rump and tail
  • Buff-white underparts
  • Broad cream collar
  • Broad black eye stripe extending from bill to nape of neck
  • Buff spot in front of eye

Sexes are similar, although the female is generally lighter with duller upper parts.

Juvenile
Photo © by Neil Fifer
Sydney, Australia

Distribution

Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, Loyalty, Kermadec & Solomon Islands, Futuna & Fiji Islands, New Caledonia.

Winters north to New Guinea, Indonesia & Melanesia.

Taxonomy

Subspecies

There are 4 subspecies[1]:

  • T. s. sanctus:
  • T. s. vagans (norfolkiensis, adamsi) :
  • T. s. canacorum :
  • T. s. macmillani:
  • Loyalty Islands

The subspecies vitiensis, eximius and regina of Collared Kingfisher are sometimes placed in this species.

Habitat

Woodlands, mangroves and paperbark forests, tall open eucalypt forest near water.

Behaviour

Diet

The diet mostly consists of crustaceans, reptiles, insects and their larvae and, occasionally, fish. Hunts from, and returns to, the same low, exposed perch.

Breeding

The nest hole is excavated by both sexes, normally in a termite mound, but could be a hollow branch or into the river bank. The unlined nest chamber can be as much as 20m above ground. Three to six eggs are laid and cared for by oth adults. The chicks hatch after about 18 days and leave the nest after a further 26 days.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birds in Backyards
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links


Top