Bird of the week – Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae

The Laughing Kookaburra is the largest of the Australian kingfishers. It is often seen perched on a stump, branch or power line. Its call is a loud laugh, often sung in a chorus with other birds.

What the Laughing Kookaburra looks like

The Laughing Kookaburra is 40-45 cm in length. It is brown above and off-white below. It has blue feathers on its shoulders and russet-brown and black bars on its rump and tail. Its beak is black above and yellowish below. It has brown eyes and a brown eye stripe.

Where the Laughing Kookaburra lives

The Laughing Kookaburra lives in eastern and south-western Australia. It is found in forests and woodlands with open ground between the trees for hunting.

What the Laughing Kookaburra eats

The Laughing Kookaburra eats insects, worms, lizards, snakes and small birds. It sits on a perch and stares at the ground below. When it sees prey, it flies down, seizes the prey using its bill then flies back to the perch to eat the prey.

How the Laughing Kookaburra breeds

The Laughing Kookaburra usually breeds in family groups. It pairs for life.

The adults breed in spring and summer. Only the dominant male and female in the family group breed. They mate.

The female lays one to four white eggs in a hole in a tree or a burrow dug in a termite nest that is in a tree. The male and female take turns to sit on the eggs to keep them warm.

The chicks hatch after twenty-four days.

Members of the family group help to sit on the eggs, and feed and protect the chicks. The chicks grow into breeding adults. Most stay to help their parents defend their territory and to help raise the next lot of chicks.

Cross Country capers

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