Forest Kingfisher

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Todiramphus macleayii


Size 18-23cm.

Head, wings and tail are a rich blue, black eye stripe. White ‘headlights’ in front of the eyes distinguish this bird. The underparts are white, sometimes with a rufous wash along the flanks. The male has a full white collar, with the female’s collar being interrupted by a vertical blue line on the nape of the neck. White patch on the wings is noticeable in flight.

Feeding Habits

Beetles, lizards, frogs, worms, spiders and grasshoppers. The prey is smashed against a branch to kill it and to dislodge wings.


Nests can be in earth banks, tree hollows or termite nests in trees. Both parents fashion the nest. Both parents and often the previous year’s offspring incubate the eggs and feed the young. The male is very protective.

Places to Look

Often seen along watercourses, open woodland, beaches, swamps, and frequently perched on power lines.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

© Birdlife Townsville
© Birdlife Townsville

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