Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)

If you look carefully, you can see the Sacred Kingfisher on the branch at the centre of the photo…. oh, for a telephoto lens….

We saw this Sacred Kingfisher emerge from a hollow in a tree in November. Unfortunately the photographs are not close enough to determine if this bird is a male, female or immature, even though they each have slightly different colouring. The bird is sitting in shadow, which means the greens and blues in the feathers are also not showing.   I’ve been waiting to see if I can get a better photo, but I haven’t seen the bird again.  Probably they have finished nesting and moved on by now.

According to my field guide, Sacred Kingfishers nest sometime between September and March in tree hollows, often in termite nests.  We do have termites in this area, and some of our trees are obviously infested with them.  The tree with the nest does not appear to be termite-ridden from what I can see.  The guide mentions they are “noisy when breeding”  so I will learn their calls and look out for them next year.

Sacred Kingfishers mostly feed on insects and small reptiles and grow to be somewhere between 20 cm and 23 cm in length.

If I happen to see them again, I will post an update.



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