They have a very loud call that sounds like a rattle and can be heard from a long distance. They also have a softer, scratchy call that mated pairs use to communicate with each other over short distances.
Status in the Wild
Micronesian kingfishers are sexually dimorphic (have two distinct gender forms); females have a white breast and are slightly larger than males; males have rusty cinnamon breast. Males and females both have a chestnut head, greenish-blue body, and blue tail. Their wingspan is 8 inches. They have a large head, short neck and tail, and a straight, strong bill, flattened on top and bottom.
The Micronesian kingfisher has a big name for a small bird. It’s named after a tiny group of islands called Micronesia, which are in the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines and north of the equator. Once, the island of Guam was the only home to wild Micronesian kingfishers. But now these birds are found only in zoos and are extinct in the wild. It took forty years to find out how that happened. Slowly, zoos are helping these endangered birds back from the brink of extinction.
The Micronesian Kingfisher is classified as "Extinct In The Wild" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
A cooperative rescue effort between the Guam Department of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources and several AZA institutions led to the capture of 29 Guam kingfishers between 1984 and 1986. Subsequent breeding efforts initially had mixed but recently have had good success. There are currently more than 150 birds in captivity.
The long-term plan is to try to reintroduce the Guam subspecies into the wild after the eradication of the brown tree snakes. A mid-term plan is to introduce the species to islands surrounding Guam.