General Description

Upper body dark brown, underparts white. Tail rusty brown with black stripes. Head dull white with a dark brown stripe down the centre and dark brown stripe across the face. Upper bill dark brown, lower bill white-cream. Wings brown with blue edges. Bill to tail length up to 45 cm. Call a distinctive laughing sound.


Laughing Kookaburras are one of the largest members of the kingfisher family. They are commonly identified by their characteristic laughing call, which is given as a warning to other birds to keep out of their territory. Kookaburras hunt by perching on branches and swooping down onto their prey. Small animals such as insects, worms and crustaceans are eaten whole. Larger prey such as small snakes, frogs, birds and mammals are bashed against tree branches and other hard objects before being eaten. Laughing Kookaburras form breeding pairs for life. The females lay two to three eggs in an unlined nest chamber in a tree hollow or arboreal termite mound. Both parents incubate the eggs and then both parents, as well as offspring from the previous two years, help to care for the chicks.


Eastern and south-western mainland Australia. Introduced toTasmania and New Zealand.


Open woodlands, forests and urban areas.

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