Story: Wetland birds

Kingfisher in flight

The speed of a kingfisher or kōtare when diving on moving prey is legendary. This one is returning to its perch after catching food. They call from high lookouts with a distinctive ‘kek-kek-kek’ that carries afar. Close to the nest they make an unusual whirring call. Both kingfishers and fernbirds can be heard in this sound file.

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Private collection
Photograph by Geoff Moon

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Sound file from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision (New Zealand birds /Reference number T7702)

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Wetland birds - Kingfishers and fernbirds – wetland margins', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 November 2023)

Story by Christina Troup, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015