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Posts Tagged ‘Australian native bird’

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They’re back again – kookaburras crowded on a branch – dressed in their familiar black, brown and cream feathered beauty. Their shrieking calls echo through the bush. No melodious or dulcet warbling is heard from these birds as their cries resemble a crazed cackle concluded with a lunatic-like laugh. When they sing in chorus they are broadcasting a territorial warning and they mean business. “Stay away from us or you’ll get hurt!” This call must be heard to be believed.

Kookaburras are tree kingfishers (Genus Dacelo) native to Australia and New Guinea. They have large heavy bodies growing between 28-42cm (11-17 in) in length. Their name is borrowed from the Aboriginal, guuguubarra, an onomatopoeic imitation of their call. The kookaburra’s bill is sharp and very strong – the perfect tool for killing its prey. These feathered hunters are carnivores, and have been known to eat the young of other birds, mice, snakes, insects and even small reptiles. Some locals feed them by leaving out little balls of raw hamburger mince. This practice is not advised as essential nutrients and calcium could go missing from a bird’s diet if they subsist on these offerings.

Kookaburras thrive away from water in open eucalyptus hardwood forests. We also find them in parks and suburban areas with tall trees and open spaces. They prefer the cooler seasons and act as a town crier to welcome in autumn and early winter. We love our distinctive wild life, and over time these majestic birds have reached the status of becoming an ‘Australian Icon.’

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Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh kookaburra, laugh kookaburra
gay your life must be.

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