Showing posts with label Kookaburra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kookaburra. Show all posts

Saturday, April 28, 2018

KOOKABURRA - Australian Bird

English: kookaburra laughing bird
Kookaburra laughing bird (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Native to Australia and New Zealand the Kookaburra bird is a large bird (28-42 cm in length and 11-17 inches in height). The Kookaburra was discovered by the English in the mid 18th century. They have a distinct call which sounds like a loud echoing human laughter, these birds are good-natured if not hysterical. You generally will not find this bird by water but they can be found in a humid forest surrounding where food is easily accessible.

Kookaburra is carnivorous, their diet consists of lizards, snakes, insects, and raw meat, The Kookaburra is a territorial bird and they can often be found living with partially grown chicks from the previous mating season. Wild Kookaburras will eat baby birds, snakes, insects, small reptiles and other birds such as finches.

Even though these birds are found only in a relatively small part of the world their unique sound can be found in the soundtrack "jungle sound", they are also used in movies and television as well as being seen in certain Disney park attractions. Also, you can find these birds in popular video games such as Battle toads and World of Warcraft.

They can also be found on postage stamps, the first postage stamp with a Kookaburra was issued as a 6 penny stamp issued in 1914, and also a 38c Austrian stamp with a pair of Kookaburra on it was issued around 1990. Also back in 1990 Australia dedicated a coin to this bird.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Laughing KOOKABURRA of Australia

The Laughing Kookaburra, Dacelo novaeguineae is also called the Laughing Jackass, or simply the Kookaburra. There are actually two species of Kookaburra. As well as the Laughing Kookaburra so familiar to people in the southern states of Australia, there is a Blue-winged Kookaburra, Dacelo leachii, which lives in eastern Queensland. The ranges of the two species overlap. This article is about the laughing Kookaburra.

Laughing Kookaburra
Laughing Kookaburra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At Raptor Domain near Vivonne Bay on Kangaroo Island, Dave Irwin included two Kookaburras in his "Birds of Prey" show. The Kookaburra is not technically a raptor, but shares some characteristics with the raptors. The Kookaburra is a large Kingfisher. In the Australian Bush they do not catch many fish because there is little water. In settled areas, Kookaburras will certainly catch Goldfish out of garden ponds. There also catch other pond fish, but brightly coloured fish are easier to see.

In the Bush, the Kookaburras eat almost any animal of the right size. This includes venomous snakes, lizards, small birds, earthworms, insects, mice, etc. Dave Irwin told us that a few days before we saw his show both the Kookaburras caught and ate mice during the show. When an animal is caught by a Kookaburra, the bird will kill the little animal by beating it against a branch. Kookaburras that live near Humans can become quite tame and will come for pieces of meat. The Kookaburra will still beat the meat and make sure it is dead.

The natural range of the Kookaburra is the whole of eastern Australia, including South Australia and Kangaroo Island. They are not native to Tasmania, Western Australia or New Zealand, but have been introduced to these areas. The kookaburra is a protected bird in the areas it is native to, but is not endangered.

Kookaburras are believed to mate for life. They breed from August to January. Not only do the two parents share the upbringing of the new babies, but also their offspring from the previous two years help with their younger siblings. The nest is typically a natural hollow in a tree, or sometimes a hole in a termite mound of the type that is in a tree.

The name Laughing Kookaburra comes from the cry of this bird which sounds like raucous laughter.

The Kookaburra will typically perch while looking for prey. Dave Irwin was able to demonstrate an interesting adaption of the Kookaburra. Tree branches often sway in the wind. The kookaburra can compensate for minor swaying and keeps its head still so it can concentrate on looking.