I Spy...


Melbourne, Australia

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Artist's Description

This is a beautiful Laughing Kookaburra, a large member of the Kingfisher family, measuring 45-46cm from the tip of the beak to the tail. The bird call is a chuckling sound (hence it’s name first introduced by the early English settlers) – Koo-Koo-Koo-Koo-Koo-Kaa-Kaa-Kaa etc. This is often a chorus with a number of birds heralding the dawn and again, at the close of day.

They live mainly in Eastern Austalia, but were introduced to Tasmania and the extreme SW of Western Australia as well as New Zealand, there being 5 or 6 types of Kookaburras.

They feed mostly on insects, worms, small snakes and mammals. The small prey is eaten whole, but the larger prey is killed by bashing it on the ground or a rock or the branch of a tree – hence the gougings on this very strong beak. They have a very sharp eye and use a ‘wait-and-pounce’ technique. It is believed they pair for life, nesting in tree hollows, breed August to January and share incubation duties and the raising of the young. Older off-spring help raise the young.

They often become quite tame when around humans and will accept raw meat as did this one. I used a 200mm lens so as not to frighten him.

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Artwork Comments

  • Martice
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  • georgieboy98
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  • Susan Moss
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  • Maureen Brittain
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