• Scientific Name: Todiramphus tutus (Gmelin, 1788)
  • Polynesian Names: ‘Otatare (Société)
  • Order: Coraciiformes
  • Family: Alcedinidae
  • Category: Endemic Birds
  • Location: Leeward Islands (Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora-Bora, Maupiti), Windward Islands, Cook (Atiu et Mauke)

Apearance and identification

8 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. A grey-black line topped with a white stripe runs from the forehead to the nape. The cap is green. The neck, chest and belly are creamy white. The back and wings are bluish green. Its beak is strong, black except the underside which has the colour of the flesh.

Videos

Voice

Characteristics

Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora and Maupiti. It also would live in Tahiti where it was said to be present but rare. Cook Islands (Atiu and Mauke). It disappeared from Tupai.

Nests in a hole dug in an old purau (Hibiscus tiliaceus) or in dead tree trunks, 5-10 m high. Two eggs are laid (25 x 22 mm), of a dull white. Very little is known about its reproduction, it seems that sexual activity occurs from November to January.

Forests, coconut groves, gardens and especially down in the valley up to 450 m or higher in Tahiti.

The normal call is made from a series of “ki-ki-ki …”. The alarm call is strong with piercing notes “kss, chri, scrii”.

To listen the Chattering Kingfisher:

Insects, lizards, snails and small prawns caught on the lookout.

Location

Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora and Maupiti. It also would live in Tahiti where it was said to be present but rare. Cook Islands (Atiu and Mauke). It disappeared from Tupai.

Breeding

Nests in a hole dug in an old purau (Hibiscus tiliaceus) or in dead tree trunks, 5-10 m high. Two eggs are laid (25 x 22 mm), of a dull white. Very little is known about its reproduction, it seems that sexual activity occurs from November to January.

Habitat

Forests, coconut groves, gardens and especially down in the valley up to 450 m or higher in Tahiti.

Voice

The normal call is made from a series of “ki-ki-ki …”. The alarm call is strong with piercing notes “kss, chri, scrii”.

To listen the Chattering Kingfisher:

Food

Insects, lizards, snails and small prawns caught on the lookout.

Status and protection

Species difficult to find but always present, at least in the Leeward Islands. It has disappeared from the atoll of Tupai.

The species is listed in category A of the list of species protected by the territorial regulations of French Polynesia.
The species is classified as “Least Concern” (LC) on the IUCN Red List but “Near Threatened” (NT) on the UICN Red List 2015 France and Polynesia.

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