Syma torotoro Lesson, 1827, Manokwari, New Guinea. Three subspecies.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Skulls valued as ornaments for hair by people of Middle Sepik River in New Guinea. ♦
English: Lesser/lowland yellow-billed kingfisher, saw-billed kingfisher; French: Martin-chasseur torotoro; German: Gelbschnabelliest; Spanish: Alción Torotoro.
8 in (20 cm), 1.1-1.8 oz (30-52 g). Small rufous kingfisher, with green back and tail and blue rump. Black patch on nape, sometimes on crown. Only kingfishers with yellow bill and feet, and with serrated tip to upper mandible of bill.
New Guinea, northern Australia, and adjacent islands. HABITAT
Primary and secondary forest, and wooded areas of cultivation. BEHAVIOR
Usually perches below 26 ft (8 m), but at any height including forest canopy. Calls with either short abrupt or longer fading loud trill. Sways from side to side while perched. May raise crown in threat, to display black eye-like spots on nape.
Captures most prey from ground, some off foliage or in air, rarely from water's edge or under leaf. Diet mainly insects, also earthworms and few small lizards, geckos, and snakes. May follow columns of ants for any insects they disturb.
Both members of monogamous, territorial pair excavate nest chamber in arboreal termite nest or soft dead wood. Lay one to four eggs, incubated and later brooding by both sexes.
Not threatened. Widespread, common and at densities of pair per 2.5-5 acres (1-2 ha) in good forest habitat.
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