Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)


Mangaia Kingfisher (Todiramphus ruficollaris)


French: Martin-chasseur de Mangaia German: Mangaialiest Spanish: Alción de Mangaia
Other common names: Mewing Kingfisher

Halcyon ruficollaris


, 1974,

Mangaia, Cook Islands


Usually considered conspecific with T. tutus, but differs in voice, consisting of apparently two calls not heard from tutus, with none of latter’s “noisy chattering” (3); green of mid-crown extending onto forehead as almost complete cap (2); pale rufous vs white supercilium, nape and neck side (2)#R. A recently published and near-comprehensive molecular phylogeny for Todiramphus in the Australasian and Pacific regions has provided additional support for the split, by demonstrating that all three subspecies of T. tutus are each other’s closest relatives, but ruficollaris, while belonging to the same clade, is sister to T. veneratus#R. Shortly after its publication, present specific name was thought to be preoccupied by the taxon described as “Alcyone ruficollaris”, which at the time was listed under T. sanctus; as a result, substitute name mangaia was introduced; however, “Alcyone ruficollaris” was then shown to refer to a form belonging in Ceyx azureus, leaving the name ruficollaris available and valid for present species#R. Monotypic.


Mangaia (SE Cook Is).

Descriptive notes

19–22 cm. Chunky, large-billed kingfisher with greenish-blue crown, cheeks, and upperparts, bluest on wings and tail, rest of plumage pale, except eyebrow and collar, which... read more


Contact or territorial call a loud “kek-kek-kek-kek”, also short note followed by more prolonged... read more


Mainly inhabits forest on raised circular platforms of coral limestone (makatea), with preference... read more

Food and feeding

Takes worms, caterpillars, grubs, termites, grasshoppers, stick-insects, cockroaches, moths, spiders and once a small marine fish, with... read more


Lays in Nov–Jan. Breeds as pairs, or as trios (15%) containing either two males or two females; in trios, both males copulated several... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Southern Cook Islands EBA. Population assessed to number 100–1000 in 1973, 100–300 in 1984, fewer than 200 in 1990 and 250–... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Mangaia Kingfisher (Todiramphus ruficollaris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 November 2019).