Laughing Kookaburra Chicks
Jackass, Bushman's Clock or Great Brown Kingfisher
Adults: 400-450mm in length. Large deep bill, dark above and paler underneath. White or cream feathers on chest, neck and body, with brown tinges on top of head and brown strip across eye. Mostly brown feathers on wings with touches of white and blue. Flight feathers are grey-brown. Blue flecks on lower back and rump in males. Rufous and black barred tail feathers, edged in white. Brown eyes. Small feet.
Juveniles: Similar to adults with more pronounce white edges to feathers. Underparts more barred. Bill shorter and all dark in colour.
A pleasant, jovial "laugh" and "chuckle". Song rises and falls,
fading away to a slow throaty chuckle. "chock, kok, kok, kak, KAK, KAK, KAK,
KOK, KAK, kook-kook-kook-kok-kok, kok, kok". Also a low, grinding "growk-growk".
Birds in the one family tend to all sing at once. The Kookaburra "laughs"
to signal territory and in alarm.
The Laughing Kookaburra is a common sight throughout Australia. It is known mainly for it's 'laugh', which in truth advertises the territory of the bird. The Kookaburra is the largest of the Kingfishers, but unlike most of it's relatives is sedentary and occupies the same territory year after year. Quite common throughout Eastern Australia and Tasmania, the Kookaburra prefers forests or wooded areas. It has a varied diet that includes lizards, rodents and insects. In favourable conditions the Kookaburra can live up to 20 years or more. Their birth rate is low to keep pace with their low death rate. The Kookaburra mates for life and rear young together with the family group. It breeds September to January and usually makes nests in tree hollows with no nesting material. The Kookaburra lays between 1 and 4 eggs which are incubated by the female and other family members for about 24 days. The young are fed by all members within the family and fledge in 5 weeks.
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