7 Guam Kingfisher Facts for Endangered Species DayMay 16, 2019
Guam kingfishers (Todiramphus cinnamominus) were once found on the island of Guam, but are now extinct in the wild due to the invasive brown tree snake. Over two dozen AZA breeding facilities in the US are working to grow a healthy and self-sustaining zoological population to the point where we could see this species in the wild for the first time in over 30 years.
SeaWorld San Diego joined the recovery effort in 2009, and aviculturists welcomed the first Guam kingfisher to be hatched at the park in 2014. Because of the importance of the species, the chick was hand-raised behind the scenes by the aviculturists themselves, though the keepers avoided direct contact with the chick (using a specially-made kingfisher puppet during feeding) to ensure future breeding success. Currently, the park cares for two pairs of Guam kingfishers, both of which are incubating eggs!
Guam Kingfisher Facts:
- They weigh just 2-3 oz (55-80g).
- Males have a blackish-green “mask” and purplish-blue wings, while females have a white chest.
- They often dig out spots for their nests in soft or decaying trees.
- They lay eggs two at a time and incubate for about 22 days.
- The babies can develop their adult coloration in as little as two months.
- The last wild Guam kingfisher was observed in 1988.
- There are only 139 of these birds left in the world.
SeaWorld looks forward to the day when Guam kingfishers can finally be reintroduced to their native habitat and will continue to play a crucial role in the survival of this species for years to come!