Kookaburra

Laughing kookaburra

Plain bird, fancy voice

Type

flamingo

Birds

Area

Australia

Australia

Endangered Status

Stable

facts

size
15 to 16.5
inches, length
A soccer ball is 9 inches high.
kookaburra compared in size to a soccer ball
food
meat
Carnivore
Meat eater

Snakes, frogs, and rodents help make up the kookaburra's diet.

habitat
forest,
woodland, meadow
Forest habitat

description

Kookaburra sitting in a tree

A fisher that isn't

Found in Australia and New Zealand, the laughing kookaburra is the largest member of the kingfisher family, and was once called the giant kingfisher. Most kingfishers are brightly colored, and many of them specialize in diving into streams and ponds to catch fish. The laughing kookaburra, however, is plainly colored and rarely eats fish!

Kookaburra calling
Kookaburra with its head thrown back and beak open wide to let out its signature laugh

Chuckle along

This bird has a very loud call that starts with a trilling sound and then becomes a shrieking "laugh" before ending with a soft chuckle. An entire family group calls at once to advertise their territory. They do most of their calling at dawn and dusk.

A kookaburra mom feeds her youngster.

Helping mom

A breeding pair has a year-round territory. As the young birds grow up, they may stay around and help their parents incubate the next set of eggs, keep the new chicks warm, feed their younger siblings, and defend the territory. At about 4 years of age, the helpers leave to establish their own territories.