Birdlife - Kookaburra

Make an Enquiry with Outback Encounter

GO

Sign up for our Newsletter

 

GO

Receive a copy of our
latest Brochure

GO

Tell a friend about
Outback Encounter

GO

Buy our
Book

GO

Kookaburra

  • SUMMARY

The name 'Kookaburra' comes from Wiradjuri Guuguubarra which is onomatopoeic (sounds like) its call. They are very large (about 17 in/43cm in height) terrestrial kingfishers native to Australia and are best known for their unmistakable call, which is uncannily like loud, echoing human laughter — good-natured, if rather hysterical, merriment in the case of the well-known Laughing Kookaburra; and maniacal cackling in the case of the slightly smaller Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii).

They can not only be found in arid areas, but also in suburban and residential areas near running water and where food can be searched for easily. There are four known species of Kookaburra found in Australia, New Guinea and the Aru Islands.The Laughing and Blue-winged species are direct competitors in the area where their ranges overlap. This suggests that the two species, though having common stock, evolved in isolation (possibly during a period when Australia and New Guinea were more distant) and were only brought back into contact in relatively recent geological times. There has been an Australian coin dedicated to the Kookaburra since 1990.