• Scientific Name: Todiramphus godeffroyi (Finsch, 1877)
  • Polynesian Names: Pahi (Tahuata et Hiva Oa)
  • Order: Coraciiformes
  • Family: Alcedinidae
  • Category: Endemic Birds
  • Location: Marquises (Hiva Oa & Tahuata)

Apearance and identification

7 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. Bright blue on the wings and tail, white on the underside of the body. The head is white with the exception of a grey line extending from the beak and passes through the eye to the neck. A red triangle marks the center of the back.

Videos

Voice

Characteristics

Islands of Hiva Oa and Tahuata, possibly extinct in Hiva Oa.

It nests in hollow tree trunks such as the fara (Pandanus tectorius), Mango tree (Mangifera indica) and Breadfruit or mei (Artocarpus altilis) and reproduce especially during the austral summer (October to January). It seems to use the same tree for nesting over the years

Deep in rainforests valleys, low and medium altitudes; coconut groves, slopes covered with aito (Casuarina equisetifolia).

Brief “Ksss” or longer reminiscent of a laugh. It emits a “kru” or “tchip” successively and sings at sunset.

Mostly insects and lizards.

Location

Islands of Hiva Oa and Tahuata, possibly extinct in Hiva Oa.

Breeding

It nests in hollow tree trunks such as the fara (Pandanus tectorius), Mango tree (Mangifera indica) and Breadfruit or mei (Artocarpus altilis) and reproduce especially during the austral summer (October to January). It seems to use the same tree for nesting over the years

Habitat

Deep in rainforests valleys, low and medium altitudes; coconut groves, slopes covered with aito (Casuarina equisetifolia).

Voice

Brief “Ksss” or longer reminiscent of a laugh. It emits a “kru” or “tchip” successively and sings at sunset.

Food

Mostly insects and lizards.

Status and protection

The species is endangered. The introductions of other birds such as Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) and Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) appear to be the cause of its scarcity on Hiva Oa. In 1971-75, they were 50 individuals on Hiva Oa, 400 ± 100 on Tahuata. In 2001, we found that the species was nearly extinct or extinct in Hiva Oa. However, one hunter reported that he had seen one recently. Now it is still present on Tahuata where its numbers were estimated around 355 birds in 2011 but only 261 individuals in 2017.

The species is listed in category A, the list of species protected by the territorial regulations of French Polynesia.
It is classified as “Critically Endangered” (CR) on the IUCN Red List.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.