Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) - HBW 6, p. 223

French: Martin-chasseur sacré German: Götzenliest Spanish: Alción Sagrado
Other common names: Green/Tree/Wood Kingfisher; New Zealand Kingfisher (vagans); Flat-billed Kingfisher (recurvirostris)

Taxonomy: Halcyon sanctus Vigors and Horsfield, 1827, New South Wales.
Genus often merged into Halcyon. Forms a superspecies with T. australasia, T. tutus, T. veneratus, T. gambieri and T. godeffroyi; has been considered conspecific with T. australasia. Race recurvirostris sometimes considered a full species, but its characteristic flattened bill seems to represent the extreme of a trend seen in macmillani; subspecific treatment thus appears more appropriate. Races regina, vitiensis and eximius of T. chloris sometimes considered to belong in present species. Race rufico.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Halcyon sanctus Vigors and Horsfield, 1827, New South Wales.
Genus often merged into Halcyon. Forms a superspecies with T. australasia, T. tutus, T. veneratus, T. gambieri and T. godeffroyi; has been considered conspecific with T. australasia. Race recurvirostris sometimes considered a full species, but its characteristic flattened bill seems to represent the extreme of a trend seen in macmillani; subspecific treatment thus appears more appropriate. Races regina, vitiensis and eximius of T. chloris sometimes considered to belong in present species. Race ruficollaris of T. tutus possibly better included within present species. In past, race ruficollaris of Alcedo azurea inexplicably and erroneously listed under present species. Populations of Lord Howe I and Norfolk I sometimes separated as races adamsi and norfolkiensis respectively, but they differ little from New Zealand vagans. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • sanctus ( Vigors & Horsfield, 1827) - Australia, and possibly also E Solomons (Guadalcanal, San Cristobal); migrates to Indonesia and Melanesia.
  • vagans ( Lesson, 1830) - Lord Howe I, Norfolk I, Kermadec Is and New Zealand.
  • canacorum ( Brasil, 1916) - New Caledonia and I of Pines.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • sanctus ( Vigors & Horsfield, 1827) - Australia, and possibly also E Solomons (Guadalcanal, San Cristobal); migrates to Indonesia and Melanesia.
  • vagans ( Lesson, 1830) - Lord Howe I, Norfolk I, Kermadec Is and New Zealand.
  • canacorum ( Brasil, 1916) - New Caledonia and I of Pines.
  • macmillani ( Mayr, 1940) - Loyalty Is.
  • recurvirostris Lafresnaye, 1842 - Apolima, Upolu and Savaii (Western Samoa).