Laughing Kookaburra

The Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) is the largest member of the Kingfisher family, renowned for it famed "laugh" which advertises its territory. It lives in woodlands and open forests in family groups and can be found anywhere in parts of Australia with an equable climate with trees big enough to contain their nests and provide suitable sentinel spots for hunting prey.

The Laughing Kookaburra feeds mainly on various insects, and other invertebrate but also snakes, lizards, rodents and occasional small birds. It breeds from September to January, forming permanent pairs, laying two to three eggs in an unlined nest in a large cavity in a tree trunk, a burrow in a termites nest, or even a haystack hole. Brooding and nestling care is shared by the parents, and also previous clutch siblings for up to 18 weeks. Immatures remain in a "helpful" family role for up to four years. Kookaburras can live for up to 20 years, and are sedentary.

Flight is level, direct and heavy. The head and tail are often held erect when "laughing". (Contributed by Jo G)

Kookaburra Diagram