April 28, 2016 – Guam Kingfisher or Micronesian Kingfisher (Todiramphus cinnamominus)

Requested by: @birdies-be-free

Once found on the island of Guam, these kingfishers are extinct in the wild and now exist only in captive breeding programs. They eat insects, crustaceans, and lizards, hunting from perches and swooping down to catch their prey. Nesting in rotting trees, pairs excavate a cavity together with their large beaks. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the chicks. Their population declined quickly on Guam due to predation from the invasive Brown Tree snake and possibly feral cats. The species was declared Extinct in the Wild in 1986, when the remaining 29 individuals were taken into captivity in the hope that a breeding program could lead to a future reintroduction. The current captive population is around 124 birds living in a variety of facilities in the United States.

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