Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Laughing Kookaburra

The Laughing Kookaburra is a large carnivorous type of kingfisher native to Australia and New Guinea. It is one of two types of kookaburras native to the Australian mainland, the other is the Blue-winged Kookaburra.

Laughing Kookaburras are known for their unmistakable call which sounds like human laughter. If you want to hear what kookaburras sound like you can download an MP3 file here.

I was recently very lucky to spot one sitting on my neighbour's wheelbarrow. I ran for my camera and took this photo.

The Laughing Kookaburra

Kookaburras use their strong beaks to catch a wide variety of prey, including fish, small snakes, lizards, rodents, worms, beetles and other insects. I remember late one afternoon in the city, it was almost dusk and I'd been working late at the office. I stopped on my way to the train station to admire a kookaburra sitting on a lamp post in Anzac Square. Suddenly it leapt from its perch and swooped down to the base of a tree, caught a small mouse in its beak and flew back to the lamp post. I was suitably impressed.

Kookaburras are one of my favourite Australian birds.

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