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Pacific Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher ( Todiramphus chloris ) Ssp santoensis VA-COKI-01 Aore Island Vanuatu May 2010-L
Information
Range South Pacific islands
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Coraciiformes
Family Alcedinidae
Halcyoninae
Genus Todiramphus
Species Todiramphus sacer

The Pacific Kingfisher (Todiramphus sacer), is a species of medium-sized tree kingfisher in the Alcedinidae family. It has a wide range throughout the South Pacific islands. It was previously considered a subspecies of the Collared Kingfisher.

Description

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

Distribution and Habitat

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.

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.

Subspecies

There are numerous subspecies:

Solomon Islands

Image
Name
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Todiramphus sacer amoenus

(Mayr, 1931)

Rennell and Bellona
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Todiramphus sacer brachyurus

(Mayr, 1931)

Reef Islands
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Todiramphus sacer mala

(Mayr, 1935)

Malaita
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Todiramphus sacer melanodera

(Mayr, 1931)

Vanikoro
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Todiramphus sacer ornatus

(Mayr, 1931)

Nendo and Tinakula
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Todiramphus sacer pavuvu

(Mayr, 1935)

Pavuvu
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Todiramphus sacer solomonis

(E. P. Ramsay, 1882)

Makira and adjacent islands
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Todiramphus sacer sororum

(I. C. J. Galbraith & E. H. Galbraith, 1962)

Malaupaina and Malaulalo
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Todiramphus sacer utupuae

(Mayr, 1931)

Utupua
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Todiramphus sacer vicina

(Mayr, 1931)

Duff Islands

Vanuatu

Image
Name
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Todiramphus sacer erromangae

(Mayr, 1938)

Erromango and Anatom
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Todiramphus sacer juliae

(Heine, 1860)

Aoba and Maewo southwards to Efate
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Todiramphus sacer santoensis

(Mayr, 1931)

Banks Islands southwards to Espiritu Santo and Malo
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Todiramphus sacer tannensis

(Sharpe, 1892)

Tanna
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Todiramphus sacer torresianus

(Mayr, 1931)

Hiw and Lo

Fiji

Image
Name
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Todiramphus sacer eximius

(Mayr, 1941)

Kadavu
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Todiramphus sacer marinus

(Mayr, 1941)

Lau Archipelago
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Todiramphus sacer vitiensis

(Peale, 1848)

Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Viti Levu, Koro, Ovalau and Gau

Polynesia

Image
Name
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Todiramphus sacer manuae

(Mayr, 1941)

Ofu-Olosega and Tau
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Todiramphus sacer pealei

(Finsch & Hartlaub, 1867)

Tutuila
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Todiramphus sacer regina

(Mayr, 1941)

Futuna
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Todiramphus sacer sacer

(Gmelin, 1788)

central and southern Tonga. Gmelin originally named it Alcedo sacra. It was supposedly venerated by the locals, like the sacred kingfisher

Feeding

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.

Reproduction

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.

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