COMMON NAME (SCIENTIFIC NAME)Dacelo novaeguineae
DIETCarnivorous: snakes, lizards, insects and rodents
RANGEEastern Australia and introduced to New Zealand
HABITATWoodlands and forests
About: The laughing kookaburra has a white chest and head, with brown wings, a brown back and brown stripes around the eyes. Males often have subtle blue coloration on the wings.
These birds are known for the violent way they kill their prey- bashing it on a nearby rock or branch before swallowing it whole!
Known as the ‘bushman’s alarm clock’ for its loud call, the laughing kookaburra vocalizes in a long call that starts with a chuckle and has a shrieking ‘laugh’ in the middle before fading.
Kookaburras are the largest member of the kingfisher family.
Life Cycle/ Social Structure Laughing kookaburras live in territorial groups of three or more birds. The dominant male and female breed an adult pair is often accompanied by up to 5 of their offspring, living as a group and cooperating to defend territory. Females disperse from the nest after 1 or 2 years of age, while males disperse at 2 to 4 years of age.
Not only do both parents participate in incubating the eggs, but the last season’s brothers and sisters do as well.
Predators: Adults are preyed on by large owls and raptors. Pythons, goannas and quolls are threats to nestlings.