Family Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Critically Endangered

Marquesas Kingfisher (Todiramphus godeffroyi)


French: Martin-chasseur des Marquises German: Marquesasliest Spanish: Alción de las Marquesas

Halcyon godeffroyi


, 1877,

Marquesas Islands


Traditionally thought to form a species-group with several other Australasian and Polynesian species (see T. sanctus). Monotypic.


Hiva Oa and Tahuata (probably extinct in the former)#R, in Marquesas Is; reports from other islands in Marquesas (Ua Pou, Mohotani and Fatu Hiva) are apparently erroneous.

Descriptive notes

21 cm. Both sexes white crown, neck and underparts, dark mask through eye continuing as blue-black stripe and as thin band across nape; upper mantle with characteristic buffy... read more


Short, deep, repeated “kiau”, which can accelerate into chatter; also soft “treeet-tee-tee”.


Primary forest, preferring dense humid forest along mountain streams and in remote valleys;... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly beetles (Coleoptera) and large grasshoppers (Orthoptera), and small lizards; possibly some fish. Takes prey in the foliage... read more


Lays in Sept–Jan on Hiva Oa. Nest found in hole of old mango tree, another in hollow with 2 entrances dug into decayed screw-pine (... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Marquesas Islands EBA. Population in 1970s 300–500 pairs on Tahuata and under 50 pairs on Hiva Oa. On latter... read more

Recommended citation

Woodall, P.F., Sharpe, C.J. & de Juana, E. (2019). Marquesas Kingfisher (Todiramphus godeffroyi). 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 17 November 2019).