Laughing Kookaburra

Latin Name Dacelo novaeguineae
Class Birds
Order Coraciiformes
Family Alcedinidae
IUCN Status Least Concern
Habitat sclerophyll forest and woodland
Distribution Australia and Tasmania

General Information

The laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) is a bird in the kingfisher subfamily Halcyoninae. It is a large robust kingfisher with a whitish head and a dark eye-stripe.

The laughing kookaburra is native to eastern mainland Australia, but has also been introduced to parts of New Zealand, Tasmania, and Western Australia. It occupies dry eucalypt forest, woodland, city parks and gardens. This species is sedentary and occupies the same territory throughout the year. It is monogamous, retaining the same partner for life. A breeding pair can be accompanied by up to five fully grown non-breeding offspring from previous years that help the parents defend their territory and raise their young. The laughing kookaburra generally breeds in unlined tree holes or in excavated holes in arboreal termite nests. The usual clutch is three white eggs.

A predator of a wide variety of small animals, the laughing kookaburra typically waits perched on a branch until it sees an animal on the ground and then flies down and pounces on its prey. Its diet includes lizards, insects, worms, snakes, mice and are known to take goldfish out of garden ponds.

Fun Fact!

The name "laughing kookaburra" refers to the bird's "laugh", which it uses to establish territory among family groups. It can be heard at any time of day, but most frequently at dawn and dusk.