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Look what I found in my back yard!!

by Charmaine van der Merwe 2 years ago in wild animals

Laughing Kookaburra

We had been in Australia for only a month when we moved into our new place in Sydney.  Imagine my surprise when I walked out of my room and found this huge beautiful bird sitting on our wall.

I couldn’t get a better image as it was already giving me the eye and I did not know too much about it.  That is when I decided to read up on this bird and find out a bit more.

This is what I learned along the way.

What is Kookaburra?

These birds are 1 of the 10 Kingfisher species in Australia. This specific Kookaburra is known as the Laughing Kookaburra. The Laughing Kookaburra can measure up to 46 centimetre's from the tip of its beak to the end of its tail feathers and weight between 0.3 to 0.5 kg's. They are also known to have very good vision, large heads, and a very large beak. They are an off white below with dark brown and brown on their wings and backs and have a dark brown eye-stripe through the face. The Kookaburra is not a fast-flying bird they tend to be a lot slower than other birds.

How can you tell their Gender?

The male has blue hues on his wing feathers and darker blue on his tail feathers. The female has a reddish-brown tail and she is usually larger than the male.

Laughing Kookaburra Sound, and why do they laugh?

This call is not really a laugh, the cackling sound they make is a territorial call to warn other birds to keep away.  Heard mostly in the early mornings and evenings.  When kept in captivity alone the Kookaburra will not laugh.

What does the Kookaburra eat?

Kookaburras are pretty much carnivorous, eating snakes, lizards, mice, frogs, worms and a range of other insects.  Like snipers without the gun, they sit and wait in high areas for their prey and scoop down quickly to catch and kill before they eat.  Beating the prey until ready to be swallowed whole.

The Kookaburras Behaviour

The Kookaburra mates for life and tends to stay in one place.  Kookaburras are such calm looking birds, scary to think that they beat their prey…..

Are Kookaburras dangerous, and do they swoop humans?

The Kookaburra can get a bit defensive or aggressive but have been known to become quite tame and will accept meat scraps when offered.  They are not known to swoop down on humans, however, there have been stories of Kookaburras attacking windows or exterior surfaces of homes, this is because of their own reflection seen in the window and can be annoying for the homeowner.

How long do they live?

The Laughing Kookaburra can live up between 15 to 20 years.

Breeding

The breeding season is between August and January, the family rotates incubation and care of the young.  The female lays between 2 to 3 eggs at a time.  Nesting in tree hollows or termite mounds. The young birds are born naked and blind.  Older siblings will also assist in looking out for the new chicks.

Habitat

Kookaburras live in forests, open woodlands and the edges of plains and can also be found in suburban areas with tall trees.  The leafy covered ground is ideal as this is where they will find worms and lizards lurking below.

Threats

Kookaburras are not fond of cats and dogs so they will tend to avoid them, puffing up their feathers making them appear larger and more threatening, a useful tool when they feel unsafe.  Using pesticides in our gardens can poison the Kookaburras if they eat the contaminated insects.  Possums are primary predators of the Kookaburras eggs, and the chicks are at risk of being eaten by Goannas and Snakes. The other threat currently are the fires destroying areas in which they live.

Good Luck Beliefs

I came across an interesting write up about the Kookaburra being “Good Luck”.  The Kookaburra is believed to be strong, bold energy and they encourage laughter which is a great form of healing.

I have since seen 4 Kookaburras together in our area but they are very scarce, I spot them mostly in the early mornings perching on electric cables as I drive hubby to the station.

I am by no means a bird watcher or expert, however, Australia has such beautiful birds I cannot help but find out more about them.  Also teaching our kids about the new environment that we are living in and appreciating every moment.

We have been very lucky to be given this opportunity to live in an amazing suburb with plenty of wildlife, great parks and the canal close by, and I cannot wait to see what we will discover next.

I hope that you found this info interesting if you did “You Not Alone.”!! 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. xxx

Have a lovely day.

wild animals

Charmaine van der Merwe

I am a mother of 4, and soon to be a grandmother. Family is very important to me. I love sharing my life experiences with everyone, its a way for me to express myself.

I don't have a specific niche' and write about whatever is on my mind.

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