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Laughing Kookaburra

About Laughing Kookaburra

This bird is stocky, with a short neck, large head with stout, a pointed bill. Upperparts blackish-brown mottled with pale blue and shoulders and rump; white patch in outer wing; tail reddish-cinnamon, barred black, and with white edges and tip. Underparts and head whitish, latter with blackish-brown streaks on top of crown and dark brown eye stripe; legs and feet pale greenish; bill with blackish upper mandible and horn-colored lower mandible below; eyes dark brown.

This bird breeds from September to January in its native range. Nests in holes in trees, termite nests in trees, banks, nest boxes. They have 1-4 white eggs which are incubated for 24-26 days.

The Laughing Kookaburra is related to the Kingfisher birds. However, the kookaburra does not specialize in catching fish, and can live far from the water. One of the reasons this bird does so well is that it has adapted to a wide range of prey. Snakes are an important part of its diet. This bird kills large snakes by dropping them from a height or battering them on a branch. They also like to visit bird feeders and really like cheese and raw meat.

This bird pairs for life and the pair remains year round on its territory, usually with a band of helpers. This would include up to 5 of their well grown offspring. All 7 work together to protect their territory against rivals, and advertize their ownership by the famous loud laughing song.

The helpers also help the parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. They have been known to help for up to four years before they go out on their own.