Updated: Jul 1, 2019
I don't believe you could go anywhere in the world where people don't know what a Kookaburra is. They have to be the most iconic #australianbird, and the thing that makes them so iconic is the incredible call they have - that laugh! When you hear it, you can't help feeling a little self-conscious, as you could swear they are laughing at you.
They are found all over Eastern Australia and have been introduced to Tasmania, south-west Western Australia, and even New Zealand.
To me they are a very regal bird. They always stand so tall and proud, and that long, broad beak gives them an added air of power and stature. Of course that broad beak is designed for catching, killing and eating their prey; which includes worms, insects, small lizards, snakes, small mammals, frogs, and even other birds.
From a high perch in a tree, they will sit quietly; intensely focused on the ground below
them, looking for prey. When they find something they will freeze and focus their stare. They will pause.........wait for just the right moment, and then swoop down from the tree and snatch up their victim. Small prey they will eat whole straight away, but larger prey they will beat on the ground or a tree branch to kill it before swallowing it.
It is believed that Laughing Kookaburras mate for life. They will nest in a tree hollow or a burrow. Both the male and the female incubate the eggs and care for the young. Other Kookaburras, including offspring of previous years will "help out" during breeding season and share the parenting duties. The image below shows a parent feeding their young-one a grub.
I have been photographing the Laughing Kookaburras that visit our front yard for many years. Every shot you get shows a different side to the birds personality. I love waking up to their cackling in the morning and hearing it echo around the house when day turns to dusk. They are truly a beautiful creature and one of my favourite birds. For more Kookaburra photos and other photos of Australian Birds please visit the Australian Birds Gallery on my website.