Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Sacred Kingfisher
Todiramphus sanctus
(Viewing 4 of 9 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples The Sacred Kingfisher is probably our most common small kingfisher. They occur all over Australia except for the desert regions devoid of trees. In southern Australia, Sacred Kingfishers are migrants, arriving in Spring and departing the following March for northern Australia and sometimes beyond. Favourite nest sites are arboreal termite mounds into which they drill a short nest tunnel but they also use existing hollows in trees. Usually these nest sites are well off the ground (5 - 15m) where they are safer from marauding goannas which occasionally prey on the nests. On rare occasions they tunnel into an earthen bank, usually a high one for the same reason.

Sacred Kingfishers feed mainly over the land on insects and small reptiles but they will take fish and yabbies from water such as garden ponds where available. They vary a bit in colour - the ochraceous underparts gradually wear through the season to a dull off-white colour.

Photo: 326201

326201 ... Sacred Kingfisher.

Photo: 326202

326202 ... Sacred Kingfisher

Photo: 326203

326203 ... Sacred Kingfisher

Photo: 326204

326204 ... Immature, taken on Lord Howe Island.

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