Laughing Kookaburras

One of Australia’s best known birds is the Kookaburra. There are two species of Kookaburra, the Blue Winged Kookaburra of northern Australia and the Laughing Kookaburra of eastern and southern Australia. The latter is an introduced species in the southern parts of Western Australia. Kookaburras are members of a world-wide family of birds known as kingfishers.

Kookaburras in our garden
Some friends of ours visited us earlier this week. At lunch time we were watching the parade of birds visiting our bird barh. Pam asked, “Do you ever have kookaburras here?” Yes we do – but they are only occasional visitors to our garden. Pity about that because their call is so typically Aussie that we’d love to have them here all the time. They are common along the River Murray which is only about 5km from our place.

Kookaburras at dawn
By contrast, when we stay with our daughter in the Clare Valley in the mid north of South Australia we have often been woken early by the laughter of the resident kookaburra sitting on the television antenna. On second thoughts – the kookaburra’s call may be lovely, romantic and so Australian – but being woken at dawn every day may become tedious.

Cheeky Kookaburra

I have heard of some people having very tame kookaburras in their garden, usually as a result of feeding them. Many years ago while camping in Western Australia I was amazed at the cheek of one of the locals. I had seen a kookaburra sitting on a branch of a nearby tree and thought no more about it. I busied myself cooking our barbecue lunch. A slight turn of my back and – whoosh – down swooped said kookaburra who then flew off with one of our sausages straight off the hot plate. How rude. I hope he enjoyed it. I’m sure he did – I’m an excellent cook!


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