Capricorn Coast Birds
   
     
 
  Blue-winged Kookaburra
Dacelo leachii
Average size 30cm
 
 
 
 
The two photos below are of a family group of Blue-winged Kookaburras resident at The Homestead on Boyd's plain, part of the Mercure Capricorn Resort. Blue-winged Kookaburras have far more specific habitat requirements than the more common Laughing Kookaburra, howevever every suitable habitat in our area has a resident family of Blue-wings.
 
     
     
  The barred reddish-brown tail on the bird above indicates it is a female, juveniles also have similarly barred tails but have paler streaks on the head with darker mottlings.  
     
     
  Another shot of the Blue-winged Kookaburras at The Homestead, their family groups are often larger than those of the Laughing Kookaburra, with up to 12 members.  
     
  The photos below are of another family group resident near a pond at a local golf course.  
     
   
     
   
   
 
One of the rewards of photographing birds are the unexpected shots that pop up, the shot above is one of those that make up for all the times I come home with nothing.
 
   
  General information about Blue-winged Kookaburras  
  Distribution; from about Brisbane in southern Queensland across the Top End and as far down the Western Australian coast as the Shark Bay area and also southern New Guinea.
Habitat; prefer to be near water and are found in paperbark swamps, among timber on watercourses and open woodlands adjacent to wetlands.
Diet; insects, reptiles, frogs and other small animals.
The sexes are similar except that the male has a deep blue tail, as in the photo,while the female has a rufous tail with blackish bars.
These are fairly common in their habitat here, a family of them lives in Wattle Grove on the south side of Yeppoon inlet and you stand a good chance of seeing them there early in the morning.
The call is quite different from the Laughing Kookaburras and has been described as a maniacal cackling or barking, it's quite striking and always brings a smile to my face.