Guam kingfisher in exhibit

Guam Kingfisher

Scientific Name
Todiramphus cinnamominus
Geographic Range
Formerly found on the South Pacific island of Guam
Grasshoppers, small lizards, insects, and crustaceans
Guam kingfisher in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Extinct in the Wild Endangered Status Graph - Extinct in the Wild

More Information

Guam kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, strong beaks, and an iridescent greenish-blue back and wings. Males have a cinnamon-colored head, chest, and underparts, while females’ corresponding parts are paler or white. These birds are about 9 inches long; females are larger than males.

These kingfishers are usually found alone or in pairs. They are territorial and vocal, with loud, raspy calls that can be heard for several hundred yards. They breed between December and July and lay two eggs per clutch. Both parents incubate the eggs for up to 23 days and care for the young. Chicks fledge at 33 days.

Did You Know?

  • Many kingfisher species eat fish, but Guam kingfishers eat mostly small prey found on the ground.
  • As their feet are not adapted to cling to trees, they create tree cavities by flying directly at decaying trees and jabbing at them with their beak. They build their nests in these cavities, which are about 25 feet high.
  • Guam kingfishers have been extinct in the wild since 1986. Invasive brown tree snakes were accidentally introduced to Guam after World War II, decimating the populations of native birds that were not adapted to deal with the threat. Zoos worked to gather the last 29 wild kingfishers to create a population in human care, in hopes that someday birds may be introduced back into the wild.


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We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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