Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday - Kookaburra

Washing day
Last Monday on my walk, I had a bird day. For some reason the birds were feeling photogenic and so sat around posing or doing quirky things for me. I had pelicans in the river splashing like they were in a washing machine, body and wings going like crazy. And then they'd groom themselves with their beak. Must have been washing day!

Then I had this kookaburra sitting on a sign. I had to walk right by it, so I took a photo a long way before the sign, then another, and another, then I was chatting to him while he stared at me, or above me really he wasn't really being friendly, and I stood right next to him and he let me get this photo. I was amazed. After my walk, he met me where the path comes out and perched high up in the tree - probably to make sure I left!

Then in the car park were Superb Blue Wrens, a male and two females (or juveniles). And they also let me get a picture.

So today's post is about the KOOKABURRA even though I had to share the extra birds :)

The kookaburra has one of the most famous bird calls - the laugh. If you haven't heard a kookaburra laugh, you should. It's incredible. Here's one on youtube if you need to hear (and smile).
The most distinguishing feature for me to identify a kookaburra (aside from the call) is the squat, robust body and that big thick point beak. No bird has that build and beak combination. They often sit on high and survey the world around them because that's how they spot their food. They eat all sorts of things - insects, crustaceans, worms, as well as small snakes, mammals, birds and frogs. (One swooped into my backyard pond and plucked out a frog then proceeded to sit near my office window with frog legs dangling from either side of the beak. My frog pond now has a cover...and I know I should let nature do it's thing, but I couldn't stomach it happening outside my window!)
Blue Wrens

You can find out more about Kookaburras at the Australian Museum site here.

It says that kookas mate for life, and the male and female share incubation and rearing duties. The group of kookaburras all share the duty of guarding and feeding the young. So they really are a little family.

I have a few around me, and I love waking to their call every morning, and hearing them most evenings too. They're a magical Aussie bird.

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