Instantly recognisable in both plumage and voice, the Laughing Kookaburra Is the NSW bird emblem. It occurs throughout eastern Australia and the extreme south-west of WA, and inhabits most areas where there are suitable trees. The chuckling “koo-koo-koo-koo-koo-kaa-kaa-kaa” is a familiar sound throughout its range. It also has a shorter “koooaa”. In the central north and north-west of Australia it is replaced by the Blue-winged Kookaburra. The two do overlap in range in Qld, although the latter tends to occupy the more coastal areas. The Laughing Kookaburra feeds on a variety of invertebrates and small vertebrates. Small prey is normally swallowed quickly, but larger prey is killed by bashing it against the ground or tree branch before eating.
The call of the Laughing Kookaburra is a prominent and raucous part of the dawn chorus. In outback areas this early morning wake-up call gave the bird the names of Bushman’s Clock, Alarm Bird and Breakfast Bird.
Scientific name: Dacelo novaeguineae
Size: 40 to 45 cm