Kookaburra – Australia’s Laughing Bird


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JK.Leahy picture.

Kookaburras are a type of kingfishers that live in Australia and PNG and they are very territorial. They are referred to as the laughing birds because of the way they sound, just like someone is dying laughing. They live in most treed parts of Australia.

The birds can grow between 30 and 40cm tall and eat mostly insects, worms, crustaceans, small snakes, frogs and other small birds. Australians sing songs about the Kookaburra’s laugh, but the truth is, that loud continuous sound they make, sometimes in a group, is a territorial call. The bird warns its family of birds about who is approaching their territory. I grew up with a song call, Kookaburra Sings on the Old Gum Tree.  And all this time, before I knew, I thought they were singing to welcome me, but they were warning each other.

The birds can become tame around humans, like these two that have been living on our balcony since we moved to Bellbowrie five years ago. One in particular (pictured here) has recently started grabbing food off the plates or comes into the kitchen to help herself.

She also likes it when you hand feed her. I took these micro shots of the cheeky one. She was very patient and she did not fly off, so these are all her.  Read more here.

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11 thoughts on “Kookaburra – Australia’s Laughing Bird”

  1. Pic 5 is a very graphic/abstract image making a good art poster.

    As a scout, I also sang “Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree” around campfire nights….great camping nights never to come back again. There was also “John Brown’s baby/Tipperary”….simple but enjoyable songs sung loud in the night in the midst of somewhere in the countryside by a group of 20 to 30 scouts camping for 2 to 3 nights together each year ( much less of countryside now compared to 1955’s ).

    Liked by 1 person

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