The cheeky, bright-eyed Laughing Kookaburra will make YOU laugh.
Locally known in Australia by its last name only, the Kookaburra is an entertainer.
At dawn and dusk the Kookaburra sings out a cackling, laughing tune to announce his territorial rights. It's a social behavior often sung in unison by family members.
A Kookaburra alone in captivity does not sing.
An adult female can reach eighteen inches from tip to tail and weigh about a pound.
The Kookaburra is a meat eater. They dine on a variety of vertebrates and invertebrates with an occasional taste for snake.
Grabbing a small snake behind its head, a Kookaburra first takes it for a ride.
After dropping it from on high, she then confidently retrieves her meal.
(Sexes look alike)
The Kookaburra is not a shy bird. Unlike most birds, they tolerate human presence and are quite approachable. This pair, sitting in a gum (eucalyptus) tree in Cardinia Reservoir Park, Victoria, Australia, allowed me to intrude upon their sunset solitude with only a brief nod in my direction.
Although the sign reads 'Do Not Feed the Birds' at Badger Creek Holiday Park, Healesville, Victoria, some guests still do.
The Kookaburra will gladly accommodate a human desire to be entertained by flying down to accept an offering.
There are many places in Australia where you could wake up to the chortling of the Laughing Kookaburra, as they are widespread and common.
If you get the chance, don't pass it up.
(Click any picture to enlarge.)
You can view a youtube video of a captive Kookaburra singing in the San Diego Zoo at:
Credit: National Geographic