Laughing Kookaburra

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Laughing Kookaburra

(Dacelo novaeguineae)

Native: Eastern Mainland Australia and parts of New Zealand

Habitat: Dry eucalypti forest, woodland, city parks and gardens.


Captivity: Common

Wild: Common

Diet: Mice, small mammals, worms, large insects, lizards and snakes

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Interesting Facts

The Kookaburra is part of the Kingfisher family of birds. They are somewhat sedentary and very territorial. While being monogamous birds, the prefer to reside in large families with the breeding pair accompanied by four to five mature offspring from previous years. As a unit, they each play a responsible role in defending territory and rearing the young. The usual clutch consists of three white eggs, but the youngest is often sacrificed for the benefit of the other two. Laughing Kookaburra’s are most famous for their extraordinary shrill laughter which sounds surprisingly similar to that of a monkey call. For this reason, they are commonly used as a sound effect in productions with a jungle setting. While their call is a method to establish territory amongst other family groups, they throw their head back in a manner that looks like they have just heard a good joke. Hence the name, the Laughing Kookaburra.


Our Kookaburras: Despite only being an occasional occurrence, the calling display of our breeding pair is one of the most joyful events that can be experienced at Tropical Birdland, often causing most of our guests to mistakenly ask us where we keep our Monkeys! Naturally lazy, they make for an excellent target of any photographer as they sit almost motionless in their canopy like enclosure. However, they can often be caught guzzling on a frog or some other unsuspecting victim that has wandered foolishly into their aviary, giving children a first-hand lesson in nature as they smack their prey constantly against the branch, making its broken skeleton easier to consume.

More Feathered Friends