The Guam kingfisher (Todiramphus cinnamominus ) is a species of kingfisher from the United States Territory of Guam. It is restricted to a captive breeding program following its extinction in the wild due primarily to predation by the introduced brown tree snake.
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
In the indigenous Chamorro language, it is referred to as sihek.Show More
The mysterious extinct Ryūkyū kingfisher, known from a single specimen, is sometimes placed as a subspecies (T. c. miyakoensis ; Fry et al. 1992), but was declared invalid by the International Ornithological Congress in 2022, rendering the species monotypic. Among-island differences in morphological, behavioral, and ecological characteristics have been determined sufficient that Micronesian kingfisher populations, of which the Guam kingfisher was considered a subspecies, should be split into separate species.
This is a brilliantly colored, medium-sized kingfisher, 20–24 cm in length. They have iridescent blue backs and rusty-cinnamon heads. Adult male Guam kingfishers have cinnamon underparts while females and juveniles are white below. They have large laterally-flattened bills and dark legs. The calls of Micronesian kingfishers are generally raspy chattering.Show Less
Guam kingfishers were terrestrial forest generalists that tended to be somewhat secretive. The birds nested in cavities excavated from soft-wooded trees and arboreal termitaria, on Guam. Micronesian kingfishers defended permanent territories as breeding pairs and family groups. Both sexes care for young, and some offspring remain with parents for extended periods. Research suggests that thermal environment has the potential to influence reproduction.
The Guam kingfisher population was extirpated from its native habitat after the introduction of brown tree snakes. It was last seen in the wild in 1988, and the birds are now U.S. listed as endangered. The Guam kingfisher persists as a captive population of fewer than two hundred individuals (as of 2017) in US mainland and Guam breeding facilities. However, there are plans to reintroduce the Guam birds to Palmyra Atoll by 2022, and potentially also back to their native range on Guam if protected areas can be established and the threat of the brown tree snakes is eliminated or better controlled. Unfortunately, however, three decades of research and management has yielded little hope for safe habitats on Guam.