<< Previous Next >>

Kotare (Sacred Kingfisher)

Kotare (Sacred Kingfisher)
Photo Information
Copyright: Pam Russell (coasties) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3749 W: 483 N: 8155] (28054)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-11-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM, Digital RAW 800, Hoya UV 77mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of New Zealand [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-11-12 1:46
Viewed: 5447
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I would have liked to get closer to this lovely little guy, but every step I took towards him, he became more aware of me. I shot of just this one shot before he flew away. I love the colours in the BG. I didn't notice it until I downloaded my images to my computer. Thanks for looking.

Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)

Maori Name: Kotare

Description: The Sacred Kingfisher is a medium sized kingfisher, 19cm - 23cm. It has a turquoise back, turquoise blue rump and tail, buff-white underparts and a broad cream collar. There is a broad black eye stripe extending from bill to nape of neck. Both sexes are similar, although the female is generally lighter with duller upper parts.

Young birds are similar to the female, but have varying amounts of rusty-brown edging to feathers on the collar and underparts, and buff edges on the wing coverts.

The voice of the Sacred Kingfisher is a loud "ek ek ek ek" repeated continuously throughout breeding season. Birds also give a "kee kee kee" in excitement and a series of chirring, scolding notes when alarmed.

Distribution and Habitat: The Sacred Kingfisher inhabits woodlands, mangroves and paperbark forests, tall open eucalypt forest and melaleuca forest. It is common and familiar throughout the coastal regions of mainland Australia and less common throughout Tasmania. The species is also found on islands from Australasia to Indonesia and New Zealand.

In Australia, Sacred Kingfishers spend the winter in the north of their range and return south in the spring to breed. For most of the year the birds are mainly solitary, pairing only for the breeding season.

Food and Feeding: Sacred Kingfishers forage mainly on the land, only occasionally capturing prey in the water. They feed on crustaceans, reptiles, insects and their larvae and, infrequently, fish. The birds perch on low exposed branch on the lookout for prey. Once prey is located, the Sacred Kingfisher swoops down and grasps it in its bill, returning to the perch to eat it.

Breeding: Sacred Kingfishers breed mainly from September to December. Occasionally the season is extended to March, if conditions are favourable. Usually two clutches are laid in a season. Both sexes excavate the nest, which is normally a burrow in a termite mound, hollow branch or river bank. The nest chamber is unlined and can be up to 20m above the ground. Both sexes also incubate the three to six eggs and care for the young. The chicks hatch after about 18 days and leave the nest after a further 26 days.


Camera: Canon 1D Mk lll
Time of day: 19:02 p.m.
Date: 9th November 2007
Weather conditions: Clear
Lens: Canon 100-400mm L IS
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/1000
F-Stop: F/8
Focal Length: 400mm
ISO: 800
Support: Hand Held
Original File: Digital RAW

Kathleen, fiyo, thor68, marhowie, vanderschelden, jjcordier, Argus, fartash, gracious, SelenE, Alan_Kolnik, rcrick, cecilia has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hi Pam.
It is a beautiful shot of him with wonderful DOF that really makes him stand out. All the colour tones throughout the image is beautiful.
Great exposure, sharpness and detail. Composition is great with the twig coming from the bottom right corner out into the image with him on.
Beautifully done.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-11-12 2:16]

Hello Pam,
Very nice composition, POV and colours. I also like frame. Good work!

what a pretty kingfisher, pam! :-) he looks (of course) a little different than the ones we have here in europe,
but he is as beautiful as they are.
and so is your shot - superb composition with the interesting branch "growing" out of the right corner and of course,
the background, it matches the colors of the bird, awesome. well seen & captured, thor.

Hi Pam,
I would agree, the BG blend of colors really enhance this image. Well composed with very good colors, exposure, and details..Shooting small birds is always about how close you can get. You did a great job of getting as close as possible here :)
Beautiful bird!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-11-12 3:51]

Hello Pam,
The DOF in this photo is fantastic. The colours in the BG amazing and the Kingfisher is beautiful. Very sharp with excellent light and a great composition. Very good!

Hello Pam,
Was thinking about a young Kingfisher instead of a subspecies.
Well composed image and great BG.
Well done!

Lumière, couluers, composition...tout est superbe. Une photo splendide!

Very beautiful photo. Sharpness and colours are excellent. Very good composition and POV.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-11-12 8:23]

Hello Pam,
Great capture of this Sacred Kingfisher, standing out well against the blurred natural BG. Nice sharpnesss and superb composition and Lighting,

Hello Pam,
This is trully a beautiful shot in the great pose of this cute little fellow!
perfect DOF in sharpness, vivid colour and so much details
the exposure and focus is spot on!
my compliment!

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2007-11-12 12:52]

Hi Pam,

The colors in this photo are really magnificent. Not only the bird has got beautiful colors but also the background is superb.


  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-11-12 14:26]

Hi Pam,
I think all kingfishers are hard to approach no matter where on earth they are :o) I can understand your point very well here... I liked the composition, background, color tones, lighting and the pose you captured. TFS
Best wishes,

Hi Pam - I didn't realize there were kingfishers in NZ! Nice view, though, as you say, a little closer would have added.

Hello Pam
Excellent shot of this Sacred Kingfisher,
Perfect focusing,lighting and composition,
Superb shot,welldone.


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-11-13 5:16]

Hello Pam, you have doen another great job on this fellow ! The background is so beautiful it makes the colors of the bird even more striking. Well done, thanks !


  • Great 
  • sela Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 47 W: 0 N: 39] (738)
  • [2007-11-13 8:18]

Wonderful portrait, nicely composed.
Kind regards Rose

Hi Pam, Lovely composition and well placed with-in the frame; exposure is perfect, very nice well done Cheers Rick :)

Excellent shot Pam and as ever, presented in a lovely setting. Wonderful bg as well. Spot on.

Calibration Check