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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

13 Amaze-wing Facts About The Guam Kingfisher For Kids

Guam kingfisher facts are about this kingfisher bird native to the United States.

There are a total of 120 subspecies of kingfisher in the world. Kingfishers are found in all habitats except in cold regions. The Guam kingfisher is a bird which is known for originating from the Guam islands located in the United States however, their populations have been impacted greatly. The Guam kingfisher is now extinct in the wild, and is currently bred in restrictive breeding owing to the fact that these birds faced predation by the brown tree snake. These tree snakes severely affected this species survival rate.

Guam kingfishers are innately wild birds and they feed on insects including grasshoppers, lizards, and skinks. They are known by their scientific name, Todiramphus cinnamominus and their popular name, the Guam micronesian kingfisher. This endangered species is in extreme need of protection. Males and females differ in appearance and are sexually dimorphic. Both males and females take care of their young. They stay in their permanent territories all year long and live along with their family groups.

For more relatable content, check out these common kingfisher and belted kingfisher facts.

Guam Kingfisher Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Guam kingfisher?

The Guam kingfisher is a type of kingfisher bird that belongs to the kingdom Animalia.

What class of animal does a Guam kingfisher belong to?

The Guam kingfisher is a kingfisher bird that belongs to the class Aves, family Alcedinidae, and genus Todiramphus.

How many Guam kingfishers are there in the world?

There are a total of 120 subspecies of kingfisher in the world. Each subspecies is endemic to a different continent or region. There are less than 145 Guam kingfisher birds in human care in 24 zoos and aquarium facilities and one breeding facility in Guam. They are classified as extinct in the wild. Guam kingfisher populations have been impacted owing to their predation by brown tree snakes. The species survival rate has been severely affected.

Where does a Guam kingfisher live?

Guam kingfishers live in savanna, wetlands, and woodlands. They were specifically seen on the Guam islands in the United States. Currently, they are not seen in this region and the few populations left are bred in captivity to control and increase their population size.

What is a Guam kingfisher's habitat?

Guam kingfishers live in savanna, wetlands, and woodlands. Guam kingfishers are known to live in a variety of habitats. They build nests in tree cavities with both males and females being equally involved in raising the young.

Who do Guam kingfishers live with?

Most kingfishers are solitary beings. Guam kingfishers are solitary as well but they come together during the mating season. Guam kingfishers live with their own as well as coexist with other species in the wild.

How long does a Guam kingfisher live?

The exact lifespan of a Guam kingfisher is not evaluated. Kingfishers are estimated to live for about 15 years. The oldest kingfisher that lived 21 years.

How do they reproduce?

These birds are declared extinct in the wild and they are bred only in captivity now. In the wild, their breeding season is from December to July. Both males and females are equally involved in raising the young. They excavate multiple holes in order to find an appropriate shelter. They don't build a nest similar to other bird species. They lay two eggs per clutch and the eggs are white and smooth. Their population is scarce and there are only 135 left, all of which are in captivity. Breeding pairs are protective of their territory.

What is their conservation status?

The Guam kingfisher status is classified as Extinct in the wild by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN). The conservation status can be considered as Critically Endangered given that they are so few in number and almost on the verge of extinction.

Guam Kingfisher Fun Facts

What do Guam kingfishers look like?

Guam kingfishers are a unique bird species and are small to medium-sized birds. They are scarcely seen in the wild. They have a metallic greenish-blue and the remaining parts of their body are brown. Females look similar to males but also have additional breast feathers. They have a long blue tail. Similar to other kingfishers, their head is relatively larger compared to the rest of their body and they have a strong beak. They have dark-colored eyes and feet. They are similar to robins in size. They were solely seen on the island of Guam, but now they are raised and bred only in captivity.

Guam kingfishers are a similar size to a robin and have unique coloration and pattern, earlier seen on the island of Guam.
*  Please note that this is an image of a common kingfisher. If you have an image of a Guam kingfisher please let us know at [email protected]

How cute are they?

They are an extremely cute and adorable species of birds. Captive breeding is a popular means to ensure population control in this species of birds. Various breeding programs have been introduced in listed sites. This endangered species is rarely seen in the wild, so you can only spot them in limited sites.

How do they communicate?

This species of birds are effective communicators and they have a loud and distinct call. Their call has three to five harsh notes accompanied by softer notes. Their population is scarce, so it's difficult to spot them out in the wild. They communicate with their young as well as their partners in the nest. Chicks communicate primarily scream while communicating.

How big is a Guam kingfisher?

A Guam kingfisher is 9 in (22 cm) in length which is five times bigger than a western bluebird which is 6.2-7.4 in (16-19 cm).

How fast can a Guam kingfisher move?

Guam kingfishers have relatively fast flight patterns. A kingfisher can dive at speeds of up to 25 mph (40.23 kph.). They are capable of capturing fishes 2 ft (61 cm) below water.

How much does a Guam kingfisher weigh?

The Guam kingfisher weighs 0.11-0.15 lb (50-70 g). The Andean condor can be called the heaviest small bird species and weighs 20-27 lb (9.07-12.24).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female birds of this species are not addressed differently. Males and females differ in appearance as well as in reproductive functions. Breeding pairs stay together and they reside in their native habitat for the most part. A mother lays two eggs per clutch in a nest and the chicks grow up in these nests.

What would you call a baby Guam kingfisher?

Two eggs are laid per clutch in a nest. A baby Guam kingfisher can be referred to as a nestling, juvenile, or chick once they hatch from the eggshell. Previously, both parents would raise the young together, however they are only raised in captivity. Captive breeding is the only choice for breeding this endangered species.

What do they eat?

Guam kingfishers are primarily carnivores and feed on grasshoppers, lizards, and skinks. They are unlike other kingfisher species which feed on fishes. When raised in captivity, this species ais fed crickets, anoles, and worms. Chicks are also fed similar food. The Guam kingfisher bird's predator is the brown tree snake. Tree snakes majorly impacted the species survival rate. Breeding pairs remain together throughout the breeding season.

Are they dangerous?

No, this species of birds is not dangerous like other animals. They can be considered critically endangered owing to the fact that they are only raised in captivity and their captive population is so little. Spotting them in the wild is unlikely until their populations become stable.

Would they make a good pet?

No, adopting these birds is not legal. The species survival rate is at the bare minimum. They are bred only in captivity and these birds are on the verge of extinction. Kingfishers are innately wild birds and best observed in their natural habitat or in a conservation center. If you wish to see such species, you could visit designated zoos where similar species of animal are seen.

Did you know...

Kookaburras are a terrestrial kingfisher native to New Guinea and Australia. They have a distinct call that resembles something like a laugh which is sure to amuse any human who crosses by. There are several species of kookaburras and most have blue touches on their feathers, although the blue is not extremely bright for you to spot them easily.

Kingfishers symbolize luck in various cultural practices by human tribes. They can be attracted to birdwatching sites easily as long as they are provided with food for hunting. If you are a birdwatcher and wish to see a kingfisher species, the best time to see them is in the morning. It's rare to spot them always in pairs but you could spot them as solitary beings.

Why is the Guam kingfisher endangered?

In 1986, the Guam kingfisher was declared Extinct. Their populations were primarily affected due to attacks by their predators which are tree snakes. Tree snakes feed on both the chicks as well as the adult birds. They were later taken into zoos and in conservation centers and are now raised in captivity. Previously, they were seen widely on the island of Guam.

How many zoos have Guam kingfishers?

These birds were seen earlier on the island of Guam. Guam kingfishers chicks are rare to spot but adult birds can be seen in Saint Louis Zoo in America and other zoos in America like the Philadelphia Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Brooklyn Zoo. Have you ever come across a kingfisher? If not, you could visit a zoo or a center close to the region you live in and see them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our common ground dove facts and blackpoll warbler facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Guam kingfisher coloring pages.

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