Kookaburras are terrestrialtree kingfishers of the genus Dacelo native to Australia and New Guinea, which grow to between 28–42 cm (11–17 in) in length. The name is a loanword from Wiradjuriguuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. The loud distinctive call of the laughing kookaburra is widely used as a stock sound effect in situations that involve an Australian bush setting or tropical jungle, especially in older movies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kookaburra#cite_note-2
Kookaburras are almost exclusively carnivorous, eating mice, snakes, insects, small reptiles, and the young of other birds; 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 and will take meat from barbecues. It is generally not advised to feed kookaburras ground beef or pet food, as these do not include enough calcium and roughage.
They are territorial, except for the rufous-bellied, which often live with their young from the previous season. They often sing as a chorus to mark their territory.
The distinctive sound of the laughing kookaburra’s call, which sounds like echoing human laughter, is widely used in filmmaking and television productions, as well as certain Disney theme park attractions, regardless of African, Asian and South American jungle settings. Kookaburras have also appeared in several video games, including (Lineage II, Battletoads, and World of Warcraft) and at least in one short story (Barry Wood‘s Nowhere to Go).
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.
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.
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