Despite the name ‘kingfisher’, this bird rarely hunts fish but mainly lives on skinks and insects found on the ground and in vegetation (7). Small lizards are a particularly important part of the diet, especially during courtship feeding. Courtship feeding, when one adult feeds another, is carried out at frequent intervals during the courtship period, often followed by mating (8).
The territorial Mangaia kingfisher breeds in pairs or as trios, consisting of either two males or two females. In trios with two males, both males mated several times with the female, suggesting polyandry (8). The nest is excavated in a rotten trunk, branch, or in a tree cavity, consisting of a small entrance hole, a short tunnel and an enlarged nest chamber. Nest excavation, as well as incubation and feeding of the chicks, is undertaken by all the adults in the pair or trio. Eggs are laid from November to January, with pairs generally laying two eggs and trios laying three, and incubation lasts for 21 to 23 days (8).