Other names: New Zealand kingfisher, kōtare, kotare, green kingfisher, tree kingfisher, wood kingfisher
Geographical variation: Eight subspecies in Australia, New Caledonia, the Loyalty, Lord Howe Norfolk and Kermadec Islands and New Zealand. The New Zealand subspecies is vagans.
The sacred kingfisher is one of the best known birds in New Zealand due to the iconic photographs published over many years by Geoff Moon. These early images showed in detail the prey, the foraging skills and the development of chicks in the nest and as fledgings. Equally recognisable is the hunched silhouette waiting patiently on a powerline or other elevated perch over an estuary or mudflat which converts in a flash to a streak of green diving steeply to catch a prey item. REF: NZ BIrds Online
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