Kookaburra Bird


Kookaburra Bird is a page of pictures of these iconic loveable Australian rogues. You always know when they are around as they make their presence felt as soon as there is a little humidity. They are like weather forecasters of possible rain, which for Brisbane may be a light shower.

The kookaburra's mocking laughter-like song is as Australian as the wild dingo's call and much more often heard. They're sometimes called 'laughing jackass' because of their song. 

© Marie Hale | Flickr - Kookaburra in a Tree

Kookaburras are the world's largest members of the kingfisher family. While the kingfisher appearance is there, the kookaburra's behaviours are a lot different.

Kookaburras eat insects, lizards, snakes, mice and other dry land creatures rather than fish or other watery world dwellers. Although they do eat frogs and toads too, it's perhaps this diet of creepy-crawlies that makes them popular with humans. I have always loved them, and their laugh just seems to help you to feel better. 

They regularly come to visit your garden. As long as you don't spray it with chemicals that make them sick, they will stay around and keep the plants free from insects and grasshoppers. The one pictured above sitting on the basketball hoop,  flew in while I was at a friends home at Marcus Beach at Noosa.  It came around at lunch time as we sat on the balcony.

Maybe it was hoping for a feed! Her garden had a number of other birds sitting in the trees while I was there. This shows how a healthy environment helps to attract birds into your garden.

© J J Harrison | Flickr - Kookaburra

Kookaburra birds, though still reasonably numerous, are a threatened species primarily due to loss of their habitat.  They are also monogamous, like many birds... and some humans. Kookaburras pair up for life, building family groups in which last year's brood stays behind to help raise this year's before setting up their own family.  These two kookaburras look like an old married human couple, comfortable and content with their world. 

Kookaburra bird, paired for life

Kookaburras sometimes frequent outdoor cafes and picnic areas and will steal food from your hand as you're lifting it to your mouth. This one was also a successful extortioner.

The BBQ stand owner, whose sunshade you can see on the right of the picture, said he provided the kookaburra a free hot dog at strategic intervals throughout the day so it didn't harass the human customers.

The customers, however, seemed to be competing with each other to attract it to their table so I'm not sure how successful trying to buy off the bird was going to be. Australians love kookaburras and so do I. 

Kookaburra Bird, waiting to pounce
Kookaburra Bird, dry-land kingfisher

There are two species of kookaburra bird in Australia. The most common is the one I've described on this page, known as the Laughing Kookaburra. You'll see this variety throughout most of Australia including in the Brisbane area. You'll also seen them north of Brisbane, and you may be lucky enough to see a Blue-winged Kookaburra when visiting the areas around the Sunshine Coast region.

Kookaburra Bird, blue-winged kookaburra

The laugh of the Blue-winged Kookaburra is different. Its call is described as being more like 'hysterical' laughter! It has wings and tail that are a beautiful blue or at least the male's tail is. The female is less colorful and its tail is reddish-brown like the one in this photo.

For more Australian birds, visit our two other bird pages, Birds of Australia and the Birds around Brisbane. 

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