birdsKingfishersWild Birds

Chattering Kingfisher

Chattering Kingfisher (Todiramphus tutus)

The Chattering Kingfishers (Todiramphus tutus) is a species of bird in the kingfisher family Alcedinidae.

Distribution / Range

The species is found in the Cook Islands and the Society Islands in French Polynesia. The species is probably closely related to the white-bellied Collared Kingfishers of Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa.

Two Chattering Kingfisher (Todiramphus tutus) One Landing
Two Chattering Kingfisher (Todiramphus tutus) One Landing

Its natural habitats are tropical moist lowland forests and tropical moist montane forests. The species prefers primary forests in montane valleys but will move into secondary growth and old plantations.

The species has an uneven distribution and is rare in some locations; a survey of the island of Tahiti found none between 1986-1991, although it had been reported on the island in the past. Nevertheless, it is not considered threatened with extinction by the IUCN.


It resembles the Collared Kingfisher but is smaller and lacks any rust colour in the plumage. The breast and throat are white, and the back, wings, and crown are blue-green (although the crown of the Atiu subspecies is almost entirely white). It can be told from the Tahiti Kingfisher by the complete white collar.

The Chattering Kingfisher lives singly or in pairs.

Chattering Kingfisher (Todiramphus tutus) On A Branch
Chattering Kingfisher (Todiramphus tutus) On A Branch

Diet / Feeding

It feeds on insects and lizards taken on the wing or from the ground.

Nesting / Breeding

The species nests in tree cavities.

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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