Endemic island species are of conservation interest as unique taxa, often with restricted populations, but many are data poor. The Mangaia kingfisher Todiramphus ruficollaris, known locally as the tanga‘eo, is endemic to the island of Mangaia in the Cook Islands, and categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The population size has not been estimated since 1996, despite concerns over habitat loss and competition with an invasive species, the common myna Acridotheres tristis. We provide new population estimates for both the tanga‘eo and the common myna, using the same methodology as previous estimates. During December 2018–February 2019 we surveyed with distance sampling along 73 line transects walked across the six habitat types on Mangaia. We estimate there are 4,106 tanga‘eo on Mangaia (95% CI 3,191–5,283), a dramatic 7–8 fold increase compared to the previous estimate of 393–764. We estimate there are 13,350 common myna (95% CI 10,998–16,206), a slight increase, although densities in the two most favoured habitats for myna have declined. There is no evidence that the common myna poses a threat to the viability of the tanga‘eo population, as the latter has increased despite a much larger population of common myna. Presumed declines in the tanga‘eo population in the past were probably a result of habitat loss as a result of the cultivation of pineapples Ananas comosus for export, an industry that collapsed in the 1980s. We recommend a review of the IUCN Red List status of the tanga‘eo.