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Sacred Kingfisher (male)

Todiramphus sanctus


A member of the family Halcyonidae, the Sacred Kingfisher is a beautiful species, and this little bird is lucky to be alive - it collided with a window. Other than being stunned, it showed no signs of injury so I placed it in the shrubbery and kept a watchful eye until it recovered, which it did after about 10 minutes and flew up into the trees. Will such a large bill, it's lucky not to have broken its neck. A medium-sized kingfisher, it has a turquoise back, turquoise blue rump and tail, buff-white underparts, a broad cream collar, and a broad black eye stripe that extends from the beak to the nape of the neck. Both sexes are similar, although the female is generally lighter with duller upper parts. Juvenile birds are similar to the female, but have varying amounts of rusty-brown edging to feathers on the collar and underparts, and buff edges on the wing coverts. For most of the year Sacred Kingfishers are mainly solitary, pairing only for the breeding season. Usually two clutches are laid in a season. They forage mainly on the land, only occasionally capturing prey in the water, and their diet includes crustaceans, reptiles, insects and their larvae and, infrequently, fish.


Spotted at the Metroplex on Gateway estate, Murarrie, Brisbane. The Metroplex wetlands are only a stone's throw from this location, and I think that's the area this species would frequent. Natural habitat includes woodlands, mangroves and paperbark forests, tall open eucalypt forests, and melaleuca forests (which are usually near wetlands, and there are plenty of melaleuca's at Metroplex). Apparently these birds are common in suburban areas (could have fooled me), but won't be found in rainforests or treeless areas.


Three and half years ago at exactly the same location, a juvenile Sacred Kingfisher also hit the glass. It was also lucky to survive.

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 5 years ago

Absolutely. It's a beautiful bird, and the colours were amazing. The photos don't do it justice as it was well-shaded. In sunlight, however, it glowed :)

The GeoDex
The GeoDex 5 years ago

So pretty. Look at those colors!

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Spotted on Oct 29, 2018
Submitted on Nov 11, 2018

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