Chestnut-bellied Kingfishers aka Vanuatu Kingfishers

The Chestnut-bellied Kingfishers (Todiramphus Farquhar) – also called Vanuatu Kingfisher or Grey-headed Kingfisher – is a medium-sized kingfisher found only on the islands of Espiritu Santo, Malo, and Malakula in Vanuatu.

They inhabit dense rainforests in the interior of the islands, particularly above 200m.


The Chestnut-bellied Kingfishers measure 19-21cm in length and weighs 32-42 grams.

The plumage is dark blue above with richly-colored orange underparts. There is a white spot in front of the eye and a broad black band on the side of the head. It has a white throat and collar.

Calls / Vocalizations

The call is a series of loud, shrill, piping notes.

Diet / Feeding

The Chestnut-bellied Kingfishers mostly feed on insects (i.e., beetles), spiders, and small lizards. They hunt by perching on a branch and waiting for prey to appear.

Nesting / Breeding

They breed from November to February. Most eggs are laid in December. They nest in tree cavities of palm trees or tree ferns or will excavate a burrow in a termite mound in a tree. They dig with their large bill and clear out material with their feet. The construction of the burrow may take about fifteen days. The average clutch consists of 3 – 4 white eggs.

Tree Kingfisher InformationTree Kingfisher Photo Gallery

Photo of author

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.

We love to hear from our readers. If you have any questions or if you want to get in touch with us, you can find our contact details on our About Us page.

Leave a Comment