Australian Animals
and Birds

Some True Facts
about the

Kookaburra


Kookaburras are members of the kingfisher family - but they rarely chase or catch fish. They prefer eating insects, mice and other small rodents, lizards, the young of other birds and even snakes.

If ever there is a film of the Australian 'Bush' or country areas, the chances are they will play a recording of a kookaburra (which some people call a 'Laughing Jackass') calling - and the sound they make really is very much like someone laughing. Though they do 'laugh' during the daytime, you will most frequently hear them doing so close to dawn and at dusk. First one will start, then all the other kookaburras in the neighbourhood will join in.

There is a site with a page about learning how to play the Aboriginal instrument, the didgeridoo. If go to it using the link below, about half way down the page, where it says "Lip and Kooka Combination", you will find that you can listen to their version of a kookaburra's call. You will need to have 'Real Audio' installed on your computer to do so, but this can be downloaded without cost from a link on the page: Kookaburra's call on the Didgeridoo Kookaburras have adapted well to humans, and find posts and wires good places to perch to look for their natural food. They will also watch out and fly down for scraps of meat being thrown away at pic-nic grounds and bar-b-cues - and people in towns often feed them in their gardens too.

They make their nest in holes in termites' nests in trees, and in hollow trees, and usually lay two, three or four eggs.

Apart from the 'Common Kookaburra', there is another variety called the 'Blue-winged Kookaburra', which is only found close to the coast, particularly in the north of the country. As its name suggests, it looks like the common variety, but has more blue feathers on its wings, and it also differs in that its laugh is not so clear.