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Laughing Kookaburra


Scientific name: Dacelo novaeguineae

IUCN World Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN

This bird is the largest kingfisher in the world. Its famous laughing call makes it an unmistakable sound of the Australian bush. They call to establish territory amongst family groups and can be heard at any time of day, but most often at dawn and dusk giving it the nickname ‘bushman’s clock’. According to an Aboriginal legend, the laughing kookaburra’s song is a signal for the sky people to light the sun each morning.

Where in the world

Kookaburras are native to Australia.

Threats in the wild


Kookaburras are found in woodlands and eucalyptus forests in eastern Australia. They are also found in orchards, parkland, partially timbered farmland and even suburbs and towns. They perch in large trees and nest in cavities of trunks and branches.


Prey is caught using a wait-and-pounce technique. Their diet consists of mice and similar-sized small mammals, large insects, lizards, small birds and nestlings, and most famously, snakes.


Most species of kookaburras tend to live in family units, with offspring helping the parents hunt and care for the next generation. They will nest in tree holes, where the female lays 3-5 eggs per clutch.