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Sacred Kingfisher

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  • Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis
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About the Sacred Kingfisher

The Sacred Kingfisher is a species of woodland kingfisher found in Australia, New Zealand (where it is known as kōtare), and other nearby parts of the Pacific. It gets its name from a Polynesian traditional belief that the bird has control over the ocean's waves.

Sacred Kingfishers have a lovely turquoise blue plumage, with white and buffy underparts. They dine on a variety of prey items, including many types of insect, plus small fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, and even other birds.

The Sacred Kingfisher has a fairly large natural range, and the population trend is increasing. The conservation status for this species is Least Concern as of October 2014.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 09 October 2014
Scientific Name Todiramphus sanctus
  • Coraciiformes
  • Halcyonidae
  • Todiramphus
  • T. sanctus
Birdorable Family Kingfishers & Friends
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 30 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
7.5 to 9.1 inches
1 to 2 ounces

International Names

  • 白眉翡翠 (Chinese)
  • ledňáček posvátný (Czech)
  • Hellig Isfugl (Danish)
  • Heilige IJsvogel (Dutch)
  • pyhimyskalastaja (Finnish)
  • Martin-chasseur sacré (French)
  • Götzenliest (German)
  • Martin pescatore sacro (Italian)
  • ヒジリショウビン (Japanese)
  • Maskaraisfugl (Norwegian)
  • łowczyk czczony (Polish)
  • Священная альциона (Russian)
  • Alción Sagrado (Spanish)
  • Inlandskungsfiskare (Swedish)

Related articles

Species profile: Sacred Kingfisher

Species profile: Sacred Kingfisher

This week, we’re celebrating the world’s kingfishers! There are about 90 species of kingfisher in the world. These darling birds are often colorful, and they can be found all around the world. ... more