Its food includes smaller vertebrates and a wide range of large invertebrates, according to season and locality. Diet includes small fish, crabs, tadpoles, earthworms, lizards, insects such as wetas, dragonflies, wasps, beetles and spiders; and larger prey such as mice and small birds.
Known as the New Zealand Kingfisher and also as the Sacred Kingfisher with the latin name Halcyon sancta vagans, the Kotare is widely known throughout New Zealand. This colourful bird, sighted at Dusky Sound by Captain James Cook's second voyage in 1773, is usually found in open spaces, but its habitat ranges from coastline to pastureland and forested areas, invariably close to water.
|The Kotare's nest is prepared by excavating a burrow and nest chamber in a bank or decaying tree trunk, with five or six eggs being laid about mid-summer.|
The Kingfisher's usual call is an unmusical and repetitive 'kek, kek, kek - ' but their harsh screeching when nesting, as they fearlessly attack intruders and passers-by, make them noisy neighbours in the breeding season. After fledging, the young family remains together for several weeks.
Certificate accompanying the 1993 New Zealand Proof Set - Reserve Bank of New Zealand, 1993.
The Kotare or New Zealand Kingfisher is featured on the following New Zealand coins:
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Last modified: 05 December, 2007