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For the shovel-billed kookaburra, see Clytoceyx.
For other uses, see Kookaburra (disambiguation).
Kookaburra
Dacelo novaeguineae waterworks.jpg
Laughing kookaburra in Tasmania, Australia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Halcyonidae
Genus: Dacelo
Leach, 1815

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Kookaburras (genus Dacelo) are terrestrial tree kingfishers native to Australia and New Guinea, which grow to between 28–42 cm (11–17 in) in length. The name is a loanword from Wiradjuri guuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. The single member of the genus Clytoceyx is commonly referred to as the shovel-billed kookaburra.

The kookaburra's loud call sounds like echoing human laughter. They are found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, as well as in suburban areas with tall trees or near running water. Even though they belong to the larger group known as "kingfishers", kookaburras are not closely associated with water.[citation needed]

Classification and species[edit]

Four species of kookaburra can be found in Australia, New Guinea, and the Aru Islands.

Kookaburras are sexually dimorphic. This is noticeable in the blue-winged and the rufous-bellied, where males have blue tails and females have reddish-brown tails.

Unusually for close relatives, the laughing and blue-winged species are direct competitors in the area where their ranges now overlap.[citation needed] This suggests that these two species evolved in isolation (possibly during a period when Australia and New Guinea were more distant – see Australia-New Guinea.

Behaviour[edit]

Kookaburras are carnivorous. Kookaburras are known to eat the young of other birds, mice, snakes, insects and small reptiles. They have also been known to take goldfish from garden ponds. In zoos they are usually fed food for birds of prey.

The most social birds will accept handouts from humans and will take meat from barbecues. It is generally not advised to feed kookaburras meat regularly as it does not include calcium and other nutrients essential to the bird. Remainders of mince on the bird's beak can fester and cause problems.[citation needed]

They are territorial, except for the rufous-bellied, which often live with their young from the previous season.[1] They often sing as a chorus to mark their territory.

Three newly hatched kookaburra chicks
An albino kookaburra

Conservation[edit]

All kookaburra species are listed as Least Concern. Australian law protects native birds including kookaburras.

In culture[edit]

Olly the Kookaburra was one of the three mascots chosen for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. The other mascots were Millie the Echidna and Syd the Platypus.

The distinctive sound of the laughing kookaburra's call is used in filmmaking and television productions, as well as certain Disney theme park attractions, regardless of where in the world the action is set. Kookaburras have also appeared in video games (Lineage II, Battletoads, and World of Warcraft) and at least in one short story (Barry Wood's Nowhere to Go).

In William Arden's 1969 book, The Mystery of the Laughing Shadow, (one of 'The Three Investigators' series for young readers), the laughing kookaburra is integral to the plot.

The children's television series Splatalot! includes an Australian character called "Kookaburra" (or "Kook"), whose costume includes decorative wings that recall the bird's plumage, and who is noted for his distinctive high-pitched laugh.

Music[edit]

BFD Records and BFD Productions, which are the distributors and/or copyright holders of most of the garage rock and psychedelic rock compilation albums in the Pebbles (series), have the address Kookaburra, Australia.

Postage stamps[edit]

B.C.O.F. kookaburra stamp first issued in 1946.
  • A six pence stamp was issued in 1914.
  • A three pence commemorative Australian stamp was issued for the 1928 Melbourne International Philatelic Exhibition,
  • A six pence stamp issued in 1932.
  • A 38c Australian stamp issued in 1990 features a pair of kookaburras.[2]

Coins[edit]

An Australian coin known as the Silver Kookaburra minted annually since 1990.[3]

Yacht[edit]

The Australian 12 metre yacht Kookaburra III lost the America's Cup in 1987.[4]

Hockey[edit]

The Australian Men's Hockey team is named after the kookaburra. They are currently (as of 2014) world champions in field hockey.[5]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kookaburra — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

9056 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Tue, 14 Jul 2015 20:16:27 -0700

“There are birds suffering quite a steep decline, such as the rainbow bee-eater and the laughing kookaburra,” James O'Connor, head of research at Bird Life Australia, told Guardian Australia. “You may see a bird such as a magpie wherever you go, so it ...
 
Fox Sports
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:52:30 -0700

AUSTRALIAN hockey goalscoring machine Blake Govers has been promoted to the men's senior squad, following the teenager's outstanding performances recently for the national side. HOCKEY Australia reconfirmed its national senior and development ...

Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald
Tue, 14 Jul 2015 07:15:00 -0700

Sightings of some of Australia's most common birds, including those that have inspired folk songs and become mascots of football teams, are decreasing in parts of Australia, according to a major report on the health of the country's bird population ...

IBNLive

IBNLive
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:30:00 -0700

"We've done a lot of testing and have worked with a lot of professionals to get the right shade of pink," Brett Elliott, the Kookaburra Managing Director, told Cricket Australia. "That's not been as easy as it sounds. We've gone through 16 different ...

China Post

China Post
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 11:11:15 -0700

SYDNEY -- Populations of some of Australia's iconic birds — including the laughing kookaburra, magpie and willie wagtail — are in decline in parts of the country, according to a report released Wednesday, with habitat loss, feral cats and foxes among ...

The Times (subscription)

The Times (subscription)
Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:15:00 -0700

Australia and New Zealand will make history when they contest the first day-night Test at Adelaide Oval in November. The prospect of floodlit Tests, played in traditional white clothing but with a pink ball, has been discussed for several years and ...

The Conversation AU

The Conversation AU
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:03:45 -0700

Kookaburra is a simple, four-bar tune. Men at Work were found liable for copying two of these bars. The Court found that this copying was sufficient to award Larrikin Music Publishing – the current owners of Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gumtree - 5% of ...

India Today

India Today
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 23:22:30 -0700

Jacques Kallis was seen full stretched in midair on the fourth day of the second Test trying desperately to sway away from a red Kookaburra that was directed at his head by pacer Santhakumaran Sreesanth. But his efforts went in vain as the ball kissed ...
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