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Wallaroo Station Animal Fact Sheet
KOOKABURRA
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Blue-Winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)

Range:
Australia

VOCALIZATIONS
Blue-Winged: It's call sounds like a barking cough, a little like Ow Ow Ow."
Laughing: Their song is best described as a full-throated boisterous laugh. Can be heard to sing the loudest at dawn and at sunset. This laugh has been made famous by Hollywood, as it has been background noise in many jungle scenes from the Amazon to the interior of Africa.

Kookaburras are members of the Kingfisher family. They live in family groups, defending it from all other birds. They chase away trespassers by criss-crossing over each other in flight. They build nests in hollow trees or a termite mound, which protects the nest from predators.

They have keen eyesight and are fierce hunters. When they catch their prey, they will beat it against a log or rock to kill it, then pound it with their beak to soften the meat making it easier to eat. The Kookaburra will regurgitate food and store it in the nest for future meals.


Habitat: The Laughing Kookaburra is found mostly in the bushlands of Eastern Australia, although some are found in Tasmania and New Guinea. The Blue-Winged Kookaburra is found in the mangrove swamps and eucalyptus forests in the North of Australia
Diet: Laughing: lizards, snakes, insects, earthworms, some fish, frogs, mice and other rodents
Blue-Winged: aquatic food such as fish, freshwater crayfish, frogs, waterworms and small crabs.
Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Length: 18 inches
Weight: 1 lb.
Beak Length: 4 inches

The Blue-Winged Kookaburra's head and chest is fluffy and covered with light feathers. The rump and wings are colored bright blue and has some brown feathers above its dark blue tail.

The Laughing Kookaburra is a rather plain looking bird with a cream white head and a brown eye stripe. The back and wings are usually brown with some black barring on its wing and tail feathers
Lifespan: n/a
Reproduction & Offspring: Kookaburras mate for life. The breeding period is from September to January. Their eggs are about the same size as a bantam's and are pure white. The clutch size varies from 1 to 5 eggs, but the most common numbers are 2 to 4. The eggs are laid a day apart and the incubation time is from 24 to 26 days. The chicks also hatch a day apart. Kookaburras have an unusual method of parenting. The young tend to stay around and help the parents with the next clutch, as it is not unusual for there to be a second clutch laid in one season. In such a case, the "auxiliaries" take over raising the first brood, while the parents raise the second. Young Kookaburras stay with their parents for four years.

 

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