Kingfisher (kōtare)

This small native bird is equally at home on the coast or at inland sites. There is a tendency for kingfishers to winter in coastal habitats and then move inland to breed. Their nest is always in a hole—excavated with their powerful bill in either a dead tree or a clay bank.

Along the Abel Tasman coastline they can be seen foraging on estuarine flats or perched on overhanging branches waiting for their prey: crabs, small fish or even lizards and large insects.

They can be a stunning bird to see in good light. Kingfishers have green and blue on their back, a large black bill, pale under-parts and a stiff, straight tail. A hunched posture when perched and the direct flight between perches are characteristic.

For walkers on the track the loud, repeated and unmusical ‘kek kek kek’ territorial call may be the more common indication of its presence.

Kingfisher (kōtare)

Kingfisher (kōtare) eating a crab. Photo: New Zealand Birds Online

Kingfisher (kōtare) calls on New Zealand Birds Online.

More info on New Zealand Birds Online.