The Sacred Kingfisher is fairly common throughout the coastal regions of mainland Australia in tall open eucalypt forest, woodlands, mangroves, paperbark and melaleuca forest. The species is occasional also found in Tasmania as well as on islands from Australasia to Indonesia and New Zealand.
Sacred Kingfishers forage mainly on the land, only occasionally capturing prey in the water. They perch on low exposed branches on the lookout for prey such as crustaceans, reptiles, insects and their larvae and, infrequently, fish. Once prey is located, the Sacred Kingfisher swoops down and grasps it in its bill, returning to the perch to eat it.
Sacred Kingfishers pair only for the breeding season, the rest of the year they are mainly solitary.
Male and female work together excavating a burrow where the nest will be located within. Sites used are termite mounds, a hollow branch or on a river bank. Both sexes incubate the eggs and care for the young.