Chestnut-bellied Kingfishers aka Vanuatu Kingfishers

The Chestnut-bellied Kingfisher (Todiramphus farquhari) – 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 Kingfisher measures 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 excavates 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.

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