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Society Kingfisher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Peter R. Bono
Papahue Valley, Tahiti, French Polynesia, November 2009

Alternative names: Tahitian Kingfisher; Tahiti Kingfisher; Venerated Kingfisher

Todiramphus veneratus


21 cm.

  • Blue-green upperparts, browner on crown and forehead
  • White underparts
  • Variable broad rufous breastband, often broken in centre
  • Black upper mandible, horn lower mandible with black cutting edges and tip
  • Black legs and feet
  • youngi is slightly larger, has pale brown upperparts and white underparts except for dusky fringes to neck and breast

Females are duller and have a blackish breastband.
Juveniles have browner upperparts, black streaking on lower throat and breastband and buffy flanks and belly.

Similar species

Differs from Chattering Kingfisher by breastband and no white eyebrow or collar.


Tahiti and Moorea in French Polynesia.
A restricted-range species. Common on Tahiti, uncommon on Moorea.


Two subspecies recognized:


Moist lowland forests and montanes, also in plantations and gardens.
Occurs up to 300 m on Moorea, up to 1700 m on Tahiti.



Feeds on insects and their larvae, crustaceans, fish and small lizards.
Sits on a prominent perch in middle to upper levels of forest canopy, watching for prey.


Breeding season October to December on Tahiti. The nest is excavated in a rotting branch or tree trunk, up to 11 m above the ground. Lays 3 eggs.


Probably a sedentary species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 2001. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 6: Mousebirds to Hornbills. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334306

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