LAUGHING KOOKABURRA (Dacelo novaeguineae)

The Laughing Kookaburra is one of the largest and most well-known Australian kingfishers.   I found this image from 2011 in my archives today and remembered that it is mostly found on the east and south-east coast of Australia.

I daresay many overseas folk know it’s famous raucous accelerating laugh.

I found this bird sitting on a garden seat in the Royal Botanic Gardens and managed to get several photos before it flew away.   I don’t think I have ever been as close to a Kookaburra since, although I’ve taken many photos from some distance away.


17 thoughts on “LAUGHING KOOKABURRA (Dacelo novaeguineae)

  1. Wonderful birds. I had a friend once who lived on a small treed property with a winter creek, and each year the resident kooka would fly down to the balcony to accept fresh meat for her young in the nest. Still a wild bird but accepted humans of goodwill.

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  2. Silly me didn’t realize that the kookaburra is a kingfisher. I’ve known about the birds since grade school because of the song. We always sang it at camp, and when I looked up the song’s history just now, it was quite interesting. Here’s what the Wiki says:

    “Marion Sinclair was a music teacher at Toorak College, a girls’ school in Melbourne she had attended as a boarder. In 1920, she began working with the school’s Girl Guides company.

    One Sunday morning in 1932, Sinclair had a sudden inspiration in church and dashed home to write down the words to “Kookaburra”. In 1934 she entered the song into a competition run by the Girl Guides Association of Victoria, with the rights of the winning song to be sold to raise money for the purchase of a camping ground, eventually chosen as Britannia Park. The song was performed for the first time in 1934 at the annual Jamboree in Frankston, Victoria, at which the Baden-Powells, founders of the Scouting and Guiding movements, were present.”

    How about that?

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    1. Thanks for the interesting story to the song, Linda. I never knew that background.

      Thanks for sharing it.

      I think we’ve sung that song in Music classes all my young schooling life. We sang it in ’rounds’ (just like “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily……..” .and so on). There were several songs from childhood which I’ll never forget.

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    1. Thanks Eliza. Unfortunately, most have not. There is even talk that some species which inhabit only small locations in the south-east of Australia might become extinct. I can think of one small rockery flower which I photographed in the Royal Botanic Gardens which is normally found in only one tiny area (in the fire area of Gippsland). Hope the Royal Botanic Gardens have some seeds in their seedbanks and Herbariums OR small samples in their hothouses and maybe some zoos have small groups of some of the smaller mammals, reptiles and insects..


    1. Thank you, Tanja.

      No, I don’t think it was this image. I think I may have linked one of my Bell Miner (Bellbird) photos to the sounds, but to be honest, I can’t quite remember 🙂

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      1. I was not close enough to find out how tame the Kookaburras I saw might be. Each area I’ve lived in Melbourne seem to have slightly different bird species (as well as the common ones). I suspect it might also depend on water and the abundance of native trees, larger predatory birds and so on. Since I haven’t really seen any of the usual birds to my balcony, I’m not sure if it’s the heat, lack of food/water or the noise and intrusive construction on the other side of the road.

        Saw several flocks of large birds flying overhead at dusk last night – many more than usual. Too hard for me to get a photo in this enclosed skyspace here though.

        I could photograph flying flocks of birds much more easily on the 3rd floor of the previous apartment as I had a 180degree uninterrupted view. I even saw what I thought might have been large number of bats at dusk from the previous apartment’s 3rd floor.


    2. Thanks for the link, Tanja. What a superb YouTube of the Kookaburra’s sound. It is truly unique and they’re such a common kingfisher too (not that I’ve seen any around my current apartment location), but plenty around my 2 previous homes).

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      1. Nobody could sleep through that kind of alarm call, Vicki. 😊
        I was also impressed with how tame they seemed around the person filming (and feeding) them. Were they fairly trusting when you saw them regularly near your previous homes?

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