Home / Our Animals » Birds » Natives » Sacred Kingfisher

Natives

Sacred Kingfisher

sacred kingfisher

Todiramphus sancta (also known as Kotare)

Distribution:

Widespread throughout New Zealand and Australia

Habitat:

A wide range of habitats close to water; common in estuaries, mangroves, along rivers.

Diet:

A large range of insects, earthworms, tadpoles, koura, small crabs and fish, lizards, mice and small birds

Breeding:

September to March

Nest:

Usually both the male and female 'dig' a tunnel with their beaks in a river bank or road cutting. May use a natural hole in a tree or rotting tree stump. The tunnel leads to a chamber, which is unlined.

Eggs:

Four to seven eggs laid daily. The female does most of the incubating. Hatch at around 18 days. One to two broods a year.

Chicks:

The female feeds the chicks at 10-30 minute intervals, gradually increasing the size of food as the chicks grow older. The chicks wait for her at the entrance to the tunnel, leaving their nest at about 24 days. Two to three chicks normally survive.

Predators:

Cats

Conservation status:

Common

General:

These predators perch above water and dart down to catch prey, either snatching it from the surface or diving in after it and using their wings to swim up again. Prey is also taken from land.

Larger prey is battered against the bird's perch before being swallowed whole. Indigestible parts are regurgitated later as pellets.