Laughing Kookaburra

Lately, a bedraggled Kookaburra has been sitting in trees near the house in the afternoon.  When we first spotted it, the bird’s tail feathers were completely missing, and it looked like it had been in some kind of skirmish.  Even now, with half-grown tail, it looks very scruffy compared with many beautiful Kookaburras I have seen.

We hear the raucous calling of Kookaburras every day, and it is a joyous sound.  For some reason, most of our Kookaburras spend their day away from the house.   Often we catch a glimpse of one flitting between trees on the opposite side of the dam, but their appearance is fleeting – too quick to even get the camera, let alone take a photo.  They appear to roost in trees near the house because we hear two or three of them calling at dawn every morning and right on dark every night.

Kookaburras belong to the King Fisher family of birds. They feed on insects and reptiles and nest in tree hollows.  According to Pizzey and Knights ‘Fields Guide to the Birds of Australia” a they are very territorial, and a dominant pair will have “subordinate helpers’ within the territory. The images shown depict an immature Kookaburra with a shorter darker beak, but otherwise they look pretty much the same as the adult birds.

The photos here are of our scruffy Kookaburra.  It is probably one of the ‘subordinate helpers’.

This Kookaburra had no tail feathers when we first saw it, but now has partially re-grown them.
This Kookaburra seems to be solitary, but is probably a subordinate to the dominatent pair,
This Kookaburra seems to be solitary, but is probably a subordinate to the dominant pair,
From the front, the tawny brown feathers moving up from the top of the bill and over the head can be seen.

2 thoughts on “Laughing Kookaburra

  1. I hope that subordinate helper doesn’t go back to work until his tail feathers grow back.

    Lovely post – I’ve never seen pics of a kookaburra before.

    1. Thanks Alastair, yes, I agree. Full recovery is desirable before returning to work! 🙂 I would dearly love to photograph the dominant pair but they are still frustratingly elusive. Lisa

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