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Laughing Kookaburra

Dacelo novaeguineae
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern
They are native to Eastern Mainland Australia but have been introduced to Tasmania, New Zealand, and Western Australia
Dry eucalyptus forests
Kookaburras are the largest species of kingfisher, but they primarily feed on land animals instead of fish. They perch motionless and wait for prey to pass by. Their diet consists of lizards, insects, worms, snakes, and small mammals like rodents. They have the ability to keep their head perfectly still while their body moves with the branch. Once they catch their food, kookaburras strike it against their perch to ensure the bones are broken for easier swallowing.
They are called Laughing Kookaburras because their territorial call sounds like laughter, a rolling "Gu-gu-gu-gu-ba-ba-ba". In fact, the name Kookaburra is a translation of the native name for the species, "Guuguubarra". This sound is often used in jungle movies and attributed to monkeys, but it actually comes from an Australian bird.
Kookaburras are monogamous and maintain a territory throughout the year, led by a dominant female and assisted by several females from her previous offspring. They nest inside trees, and courtship begins with the male feeding the dominant female. She lays 2-3 eggs, and the nest may also contain 2-3 eggs from the helper females. Typically, the first egg laid in a clutch is male, while the second is female. Eggs hatch after 24-29 days, and the chicks fledge within 33 to 39 days thereafter.