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Laughing kookaburra

Dacelo novaeguineae

Laughing kookaburra

The laughing kookaburra is the largest of the kingfisher family. This bird has been nicknamed the ‘bushman’s alarm clock’ as it calls at dawn and dusk to mark the individual’s territory. The call sounds like a series of trills, chortles, shrieking laughs and hoots. It starts and ends with a low chuckle.

Adult kookaburras mate for life and are territorial birds. They use the same nest hole, located in a tree hole, each year.

Animal class


Diet - Carnivore
Kookaburras eat a variety of invertebrates and small vertebrates and, on occasion, snakes.

The average laughing kookaburra can be up to 46 centimetres (cm) long. It can weigh up to 455 grams.

Laughing kookaburras are found in the eucalyptus forests of eastern Australia.

Conservation status
The IUCN does not consider the laughing kookaburra to be globally threatened with extinction.

The main threat to the kookaburra is habitat destruction. Farmers also consider these birds to be pests that hunt their fowl.

Current population
It is not known how many laughing kookaburra there are in the wild.

Zoo population
There are 590 kookaburras living in zoos around the world.