Laughing Kookaburra, Artarmon
Over Christmas last year we stayed with family in Artarmon on the north shore in Sydney. Almost every day we heard Laughing Kookaburras somewhere near the house, usually around 4:30am every morning. It was a pleasant wake-up call, albeit a little early.
From time to time my family enjoys seeing a kookaburra visit their back yard, often perching on the clothes line. I guess that they enjoy visiting and picking up for lunch any small skink (a small lizard – see photo below) that is a little tardy in moving to shelter out of sight.
Update Oct 1st 2015: I have recently been talking on the phone with my 7 year old grandson several times a week in recent weeks. He has developed an interest in the local birds (I wonder where he developed that interest?). He has told me that he regularly sees and hears the kookaburras in his garden, in the street where they live and in nearby parks where he goes riding his bike. On enquiring about the resident skinks, he told me that they see many of them every day they are in the garden, but the blue-tongue lizard which used to live under their front steps is no longer there.
For a discussion on the identification of the skink, please read the comments.
- A Laughing Kookaburra comes to lunch
- Interrupted by a Kookaburra
- The skink I referred to is a Common Garden Skink Lampropholis guichenoti
Article updated 1st October 2015.
Just discovered your site, really enjoy readig through it, however your garden skink is actually a wall skink – Cryptoblepharus pulcher, those two white stripes and the very spindly limbs are the giveaways
Thanks for your comments, but now I am quite confused. The Wall Skink (also known as the Fence Skink) is actually Cryptoblepharus virgatus (see http://australianmuseum.net.au/fence-skink ).
On the other hand, Cryptoblepharus pulcher is commonly known as the Snake-eyed Skink (see http://www.arod.com.au/arod/reptilia/Squamata/Scincidae/Cryptoblepharus/pulcher )
I should add that I am no expert in matters reptilian – very, very much an amateur.
This article was updated and more information added today (Oct 1st 2015)
[…] cheeky Laughing Kookaburra swooped down from a nearby branch. It snatched a part of my wife’s sandwich and flew off with […]
I’m sorry I never replied to your comment from a few years ago now. Basically many reptiles (particularly small skinks) don’t really have official common names, as new species are constantly described and revised the common names end up causing confusion. In the case of the this genus (Cryptoblepharus) the number of species in Australia rose from 7 to 25 a few years ago, hence the same common name is often applied to multiple different species. The fella in the original photo is definitely C.pulcher, as C.virgatus is now restricted to northern Queensland as a result of a revision.