Pacific kingfisher

Pacific kingfisher

Pacific kingfisher

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Todiramphus sacer

The Pacific kingfisher (Todiramphus sacer ) is a medium-sized kingfisher belonging to the subfamily Halcyoninae, the tree kingfishers. It has a wide range throughout the South Pacific islands. It was previously considered a subspecies of the collared kingfisher.


It has a variety of calls which vary geographically. The most typical call is loud, harsh and metallic and is repeated several times.



It is most commonly found in coastal areas, particularly in mangrove swamps. It also inhabits farmland, open woodland, grassland and gardens. It is usually seen further inland than the collared kingfisher, where it was previously considered conspecific, ranging into forest or into mountain areas. Birds often perch conspicuously on wires, rocks or bare branches.

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On the Pacific islands it is usually common in a variety of coastal and inland habitats with various subspecies present on the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, and American Samoa.

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Habits and Lifestyle

Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

Small crabs are the favoured food in coastal regions but a wide variety of other animals are eaten including insects, worms, snails, shrimps, frogs, lizards, small fish and sometimes other small birds as well. The bird perches almost motionless for long periods waiting for prey. When it spots something it glides down to catch it and then flies back to the perch where larger items are pounded against the branch to subdue them. Any indigestible remains are regurgitated as pellets.

Mating Habits

The nest is a hole, either a natural tree hole or a burrow excavated by the birds themselves in a rotten tree, termite mound or earth bank. They will also occupy old woodpecker holes. Two to seven rounded whitish eggs are laid directly on the floor of the burrow with no nest material used. Both parents take part in incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks. The young birds leave the nest about 44 days after hatching. Two broods are often raised in a year.


1. Pacific kingfisher Wikipedia article -
3. Xeno-canto bird call -

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