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Tuamotu Kingfisher


Also named Niau Kingfisher

Niau Kingfisher@Mike Greenfelder

Niau Kingfisher@Mike Greenfelder


7 inches. The skull and back are green. The wings and top of the rump are blue-electric. The belly is white. A red necklace is on the chest up to the neck. A grey bar starts from the beak and passes through the eye to the nape. It is topped by a bright red-tape that goes from the forehead to the nape.

Martin-chasseur de Niau@Jean-Paul Mutz

Martin-chasseur de Niau@Jean-Paul Mutz

Order: Coraciiformes

Family: Alcedinidae

Category: Endemic Birds

To admire the Tuamotu Kingfisher in its natural environment (Video posted 28 octobre 2016 by The Explorers) :


Formerly present in Mangareva (Gambier Islands), it only persists in one island in the Tuamotu: Niau. Island residents reported in 1990 that the species was also present in Fakarava and Apataki, but this has never been confirmed.


As Makatea, Niau is a raised atoll whose center is a raised plateau rich in feo and coral forest. The bird frequents mainly coconut groves and also looks for shrubs to land, the bushes of Miki miki (Pemphis acidula) or Kahaia (Guettarda speciosa). He also hops on the ground to search for his food which is not common among the Kingfishers.

Photos Jacques Franc de Ferrière

Its call sounds like « ki-ki-ki… » and are similar to those of the Chattering Kingfisher (T. tutus). Some « pi-pi-pi-pi… » are also vocalized.

To listen the Tuamotu Kingfisher:

Insects and lizards.

Nests in cavities excavated in dead coconut trees.

Martin-chasseur de Niau_ nid_site©Jacques Franc de Ferrière

Martin-chasseur de Niau_ nid_site©Jacques Franc de Ferrière

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



Scientific Name: Todiramphus gertrudae (Murphy, 1924)

Polynesian Names:
Oteuteu, kote’ute’u (Niau)

  • Tuamotu (only Niau)


The species is vulnerable to extinction. The population of Niau was estimated to a few hundred birds in 1975. The species was still abundant in the 90s and very little was known about possible threats that might affect its population. Its population number was estimated around 135 individuals in 2011.

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

A Species Action Plan has been completed and made it possible to review the knowledge and identify the actions to be implemented for the conservation of the species.

These actions began in July 2014 and scheduled for 2014-2018 in consultation with the members of the local association for the protection of birds, the Vaitamae association.

The main actions are: monitoring of reproduction, protection of nests and food areas, control of cats on the atoll, census of birds, awareness of the population and children.