Tuesday, 25 March 2014

ABC Wednesday, K for Kookaburra

Kookaburra in the garden in Gympie

From Wikipedia:


Kookaburra portrait.jpg


Dacelo novaeguineae

(Hermann, 1783)

Lachende gewone kookaburra die een worm vangt

Common laughing  kookaburra, catching a worm

The Laughing Kookaburra is a stocky bird of about 45 cm (18 in) in length, with a large head, a prominent brown eye, and a very large bill. The sexes are very similar, although the female averages larger and has less blue to the rump than the male. They have a white or cream-coloured body and head with a dark brown stripe through each eye and more faintly over the top of the head. The wings and back are brown with sky blue spots on the shoulders. The tail is rusty reddish-orange with dark brown bars and white tips on the feathers. The heavy bill is black on top and bone coloured on the bottom.


Perched on a Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) in Tasmania

The name "Laughing Kookaburra" refers to the bird's "laugh", which it uses to establish territory amongst family groups. It can be heard at any time of day, but most frequently shortly after dawn and after sunset to dusk.

One bird starts with a low, hiccuping chuckle, then throws its head back in raucous laughter: often several others join in. If a rival tribe is within earshot and replies, the whole family soon gathers to fill the bush with ringing laughter. Hearing kookaburras in full voice is one of the more extraordinary experiences of the Australian bush, something even locals cannot ignore; some visitors, unless forewarned, may find their call startling.

The Kookaburra is also the subject of a popular Australian children's song, the Kookaburra.

                                                Kookaburra sits in an old gum tree.

                                                Merry, merry king of the bush is he.

                                                Laugh Kookaburra, laugh

                                                Kookaburra gay your life must be.

Kookaburra with a captured gecko in its beak
Kookaburras occupy woodland territories (including forests) in loose family groups, and their laughter serves the same purpose as a great many other bird calls—to demarcate territorial borders. Most species of Kookaburra tend to live in family units, with offspring helping the parents hunt and care for the next generation of offspring.


Dacelo novaeguineae catching a worm.ogv
Catching a worm, Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia
Kookaburras hunt much as other kingfishers (or indeed Australasian robins) do: by perching on a convenient branch or wire and waiting patiently for prey to pass by. Common prey include mice and similar-sized small mammals, large insects, lizards, small birds and nestlings, and most famously, snakes. Small prey are preferred, but kookaburras sometimes take large creatures, including venomous snakes much longer than their bodies.

Laughing Kookaburra
Conservation status

The Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) is a carnivorous bird in the kingfisher family Halcyonidae. Native to eastern Australia, it has also been introduced to parts of New Zealand, Tasmania and Western Australia. Male and female adults are similar in plumage, which is predominantly brown and white. A common and familiar bird, this species of kookaburra is well known for its laughing call.

We thank Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC, and we must thank Roger too for the weekly job to find  ten bloggers for each of the ABC Team members  to visit and to read their posts. For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar . This week we are looking for words    beginning with K, in our new round .                .


Sylvia K said...

Oh, I do love the Kookaburra!! Delightful captures and interesting info!! Great post for the day as always, Wil!! Hope your week is off to a great start!! Enjoy!!

Leslie: said...

Love that song about the kookaburra sitting in the old gum tree!

abcw team

Anonymous said...

It's such a lovely bird!

Miss_Yves said...

Je ne connaissais pas cet oiseau!
Merci pour la vidéo et les articles d'encyclopédie!

Roger Owen Green said...

LAUGH, kookaburra! You have a great life.

Shailaja V said...

As kids, we used to sing this awesome song, 'Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree'. I remember singing the same thing everywhere and driving people nuts :D

This was such an informative post.Excellent pictures of the bird.

Rajesh said...

Very cute bird. I have not seen it before.

Carver said...

Great shots and an interesting post. Now I'm singing to myself, kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, merry merry king of the bush is he. That was one of my daughter's favorite songs as a kid.

Susan Moore said...

I love the Kookaburra bird's call - I wish we had them here!

photowannabe said...

I remember singing this song at camp. As a youngster I really had no idea what I was singing about. Fun little ditty and interesting information.

tulika singh said...

I'd heard the kids singing the kukkaburra song but had never seen the bird before. Sharing that video with the kids was so much. Thank you.

Hildred said...

Oh yes, I can see that the Kookaburra in full laughing spirit would be a little startling, - but very infectious!

Lisa said...

I like the name, Kookaburra! It's so much fun to say! And based on your description of its *laugh,* I'd say the bird likes its name too! Love the photos as I've never actually seen one.

Snapperoni :: Photography said...

The title is reminiscent of the song "Kookaburra sit on an gum tree..." we used to sing this on camping trips as (star) scouts.

Funny thing is I never knew what a Kookaburra was when I was singing to it. XD

Informative "K"-post.:D

Snapperoni :: Photography said...

*Kookaburra sits on an old gum tree

Hazel Ceej said...

I immediately thought of the Australian children's song when I saw the title of your post. Lo, you have it indeed!

ellen b. said...

We sang the Kookaburra song in elementary school and I still can sing it today. Great choice for K!

Joy said...

Such an interesting bird with its unique call. Radio play producers must love it as they only have to play it in the background to indicate Australia.

AmitAag said...

Great post on Kookaburra the amazing bird I didn't know about earlier!
Wonderful to know about it here:)

Pat - Arkansas said...

Interesting info. on the Kookaburra. I enjoyed the audio clip.

Trubes said...

We used to sing the Kookaburra song in the Girl Guides, particularly at camp,
Hubby and I were visiting a bird sanctuary, where they had an assortment of birds including, a Tawny Owl and an Eagle.
They were trained by a series of whistles to fly a round the arena and land in various spots.
Suddenly a most pretty little bird landed on our table, it was a Kookaburra and boy did it whistle and laugh, I wouldn't have believed the laughed had I
not heard it for real, it was
I loved this post,

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Kookabara sits on the old gum tree, was one of the first songs I learn as a child in Borneo.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I just like to say this bird's name! It alone makes me smile and besides that the bird is beautiful and sounds amazing.