Capricorn Coast Birds
   
     
 
 

Laughing Kookaburra
Dacelo novaeguineae
Average size 44cm.

 
 
 
     
 
   
     
 
The photo was taken on Great Keppel Island, the Kookaburra was being harassed by several Noisy Friarbirds but paused long enough for me to take a single shot, it's always a bonus to get a photo of a bird engaged in the business of being a bird, in this case with a large skink it had just caught. More photos from Great Keppel Island
 
     
     
   
     
 
This is a characteristic pose of Laughing Kookaburras, I assume it is used to balance the bird, the photo was taken in Cooee Bay, where I live, but it could be anywhere on the rural east coast of Australia, Laughing Kookaburras are very common everywhere outside cities.
 
 
   
     
 
The intense stare is another characteristic of laughing Kookaburras and can be a little disturbing, this young bird was photographed while I was camping at Blackdown Tableland National Park.
 
 
   
  Laughing Kookaburras were originally found only on the eastern side of the mainland but are now found in Tasmania, south-west of Western Australia and New Zealand.
These Australian icons live in family groups in woodland and forests but are quite common in semi-urban areas and are well known for their laughing call.
They hunt by perching on a convenient branch or wire and waiting patiently for prey to pass by, common prey include mice and similar-sized small mammals, large insects, lizards, small birds, nestlings and snakes.
Male and female adults look alike, the nest is a bare chamber in a naturally occurring tree hollow or in a burrow excavated in an arboreal termite mound. Both sexes share the incubation duties and both care for the young, the offspring of previous years act as 'helpers' during the breeding season, sharing all parenting duties.