Laughing Kookaburra
Dacelo novaeguineae novaeguineae

CLASS: Aves
ORDER: Coraciiformes
FAMILY: Alcedinidae

SIZE:
17 inches

RANGE:
Eastern and southern Australia

HABITAT:
Forests

DIET:
Wild - Small snakes, large insects, termites, lizards, chicks, fowl, small mammals
Zoo - Bird of prey diet; mice periodically

DESCRIPTION:
Brownish-gray; large pointed bill characteristic of the kingfishers

ADAPTATIONS:

  • Beak -- seizes snake behind head, kills by dropping from a height, or carries to a perch and batters senseless with big bill before ingesting
  • Voice -- strangely human laughing cry; wild chorus of crazy laughter as roost in tree tops. Call is so regular that in Australia it is known as the "Bushman's clock."

COMMENTS:
Generally live in pairs or in small groups in open woodlands.

YOUNG:
Both male and female incubate eggs for 25 days.

STATUS:
Not threatened; common; benefited from human settlements