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Guam Kingfisher Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Todiramphus cinnamominus
  • Class

  • Order

  • Range

    The Guam kingfisher was once widespread on the island of Guam but is extinct in the wild due to the introduction of the brown tree snake.

  • Status

    Extinct in the wild. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Guam Kingfisher Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. In 1986, the last 29 wild birds were captured for captive breeding to save the species, whose U.S. zoo population grew to 124 by 2013. Some may be reintroduced through assisted colonization to small islands near Guam where brown tree snakes and feral cats are not present as predators.

  • Habitat

    Woodlands and limestone forest areas

  • Niche

    In the species’ native range, its diet comprises insects (including grasshoppers and cicadas) and lizards (including skinks and geckos). In zoos the diet may also include mice, anoles, crickets, and worms.

  • Life History

    The Guam kingfisher uses its beak to drill holes into trees and rotting wood for nesting—jabbing repeated at the wood while in flight. Males and females work together to excavate the nest, an activity that may help the pair bond. Clutches are typically two eggs, with incubation lasting about 23–25 days and chicks fledging at 31–33 days. Not a colonial species, birds prefer to live alone or in pairs.

  • Special Adaptations

    Unlike many kingfisher species, the Guam kingfisher does not depend on fish for its diet, instead feeding on insects and lizards by catching them on the ground with its large beak.


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