Sacred Kingfisher

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.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 09 October 2014
Scientific Name
Todiramphus sanctus
  • Coraciiformes
  • Halcyonidae
  • Todiramphus
  • T. sanctus
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 8 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
7.5 to 9.1 inches
1 to 2 ounces

International Names

Chinese (汉语) 白眉翡翠
Czech (Cesky) ledňáček posvátný
Danish (Dansk) Hellig Isfugl
Dutch (Nederlands) Heilige IJsvogel
Finnish (Suomi) pyhimyskalastaja
French (Français) Martin-chasseur sacré
German (Deutsch) Götzenliest
Italian (Italiano) Martin pescatore sacro
Japanese (日本語) ヒジリショウビン
Norwegian (Norsk) Maskaraisfugl
Polish (Polski) łowczyk czczony
Russian (русский язык) Священная альциона
Spanish (Español) Alción Sagrado
Swedish (Svenska) Inlandskungsfiskare
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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