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Quick Facts
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Genus: Dacelo
Species: novaeguineae

Length: 18 inches
Weight: 1 lbs
Incubation: 24 - 26 days
Offspring: 2 - 4
Life Span: 20 years

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Kookaburra

Dacelo novaeguineae

Also Called: Laughing Kookaburra or Great Brown Kingfisher


The kookaburra has a large, square head with a dagger like beak. It is brown with a grayish white underside and dark bands on its tail. The sounds that a kookaburra makes sound a lot like laughter.


The kookaburra feeds primarily on snakes, lizards, worms, snails, insects, fresh water crayfish, frogs, small birds and rodents. It kills them by bashing them against something.


Kookaburras live in medium to dense woodland areas in Australia.


Kookaburras are territorial and live in groups of 3 or 4 consisting of a breeding pair and helpers. The helpers, which are generally male, aid in nesting duties and in territorial defense. Kookaburras are generally peaceful. SparringWhat does Sparring mean? occurs when two kookaburras lock beaks and try to twist each other off the perch. This test is used to establish dominance.


Kookaburras usually nest 30 feet in the air, often in holes in Mountain Gum trees. When the young hatch they are naked and blind but about the same size as the adults. However, they are darker with a shorter beak and tail. Young generally stay around until the following year when they become the helpers for the breeding pair.

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