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For the shovel-billed kookaburra, see Clytoceyx.
For other uses, see Kookaburra (disambiguation).
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. Kookaburras are not closely associated with water. 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.[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).


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 laughing kookaburra chicks
An albino kookaburra


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.


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]

A laughing kookaburra with a frog in its beak in Sydney, Australia
Laughing kookaburra with barbecue meat scraps
  • A 6d (6 penny) stamp was issued in 1914.
  • The 2nd commemorative Australian stamp to be issued was the 3d blue kookaburra. The stamp, produced in sheets of four for the 1928 Melbourne International Philatelic Exhibition, was the fourth miniature sheet to be manufactured in the world.
  • A 38c Australian stamp issued around 1990 features a pair of kookaburras.[2]


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


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


The Australian Men's Hockey team is named after the kookaburra. They are currently (as of 2010) world champions in field hockey.[5]


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.

800 news items

Cessnock Advertiser
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:40:42 -0700

Kurri Tidy Towns is inviting residents to get their hands dirty and help out at their community clean-up of the Kookaburra Walk this Sunday. The group has called for volunteers to join the event and do their part to protect this local nature walk ...
KFMB News 8
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:11:15 -0700

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's known for its unique call that resembles laughter. In this Zoo Day video, Lorena Walton tells us more about the kookaburra. CBS 8 FEATURESMore>> · Investigation into alleged sex assaults involving CSUSM fraternity members.


Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:11:56 -0700

Kookaburra Love played in the same program as Sleeping Giant that culminated with Single Stream, a short account of the internal rhythms, textures, and timbres of a waste-disposal facility. Toby Lee, Paweł Wojtasik, and Ernst Karel's directorial effort ...

Yahoo!7 News

Yahoo!7 News
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:38:31 -0700

Kookaburra Jake Whetton isn't the only athlete in the world to pledge he won't shave his moustache until his team loses. But few outfits in world sport lose as rarely as Australia's men's hockey team. Despite stringent opposition from his girlfriend ...

LessThan3 (blog)

LessThan3 (blog)
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:02:29 -0700

Denmark's Daniel Stoltenhoff may not be on your radar just yet (dude just made himself a Facebook page yesterday), but that's about to change with the exclusive premiere of his zany new track Kookaburra right here on LessThan3. Download it for free ...


Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:05:46 -0700

Bizarrely, it seemed to ease on me a little bit before the finals. I said to Graham that as long as he didn't give me too many spells - I had only two spells - I could probably cope. It was one of those days. The white Kookaburra ball swung on most ...
Highland Park News
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:52:30 -0700

I do a morning storytime daily all over Chicago and the suburbs at various venues, including Little Threads (Roscoe Village), Kookaburra Play Cafe, Monica + Andy (Lincoln Park). Every Friday at 11 a.m., you can join me for storytelling—outdoors in the ...
Pueblo Chieftain
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 22:26:15 -0700

I was running away a little too fast, when I tripped and an excitable kookaburra pecked my nose. Well, Fair management was most understanding and offered me a cellphone so I could enhance my Fair experience with the new Fair app. “But I've never used ...

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