Animal Diaries Archive
All about kookaburras!
31 March 2006
One of the highlights of our job in the Wandering Wildlife team is that we are always training to rove new animals.
I am currently lucky enough to be training with Tik, one of our famous Laughing Kookaburras. Tik was a wild-born kookaburra and unfortunately injured his wing, which makes it very hard for a bird to get around! Tik was rescued and rehabilitated here at Australia Zoo, however due to his injuries he cannot be released back into the wild. So Tik is one lucky bird, don't you think? I would hate to think what could have happened if we hadn't found him before something else did!
Tik has made many friends. One in particular is Tok, another Laughing Kookaburra who was born here at Australia Zoo. You can see this funny fella in our free-flight bird show. Tik is definitely a true blue Aussie icon - when he sings and shows off, people come from everywhere to listen to and admire him. He is one talented boy.
Tik has a lovable personality, and I especially adore it when he sings to us.
There are two different types of kookaburras; the Laughing and the Blue-winged Kookaburra.
*The Laughing Kookaburra is the world's largest kingfisher.
*The most obvious difference between the two kookaburras can be seen just by looking at them; the electric Blue-winged Kookaburra is hard to miss, and it also has a very distinctive (some say disturbing) call. The Blue-winged Kookaburra makes its home in north Queensland.
*The Laughing Kookaburra can be found in Victoria, New South Wales and southern Queensland. A small number can also be found south Western Australia. The main purpose of this kookaburra's call is to let other birds know of its territory and boundaries, and also in answer to their mate.
*A kookaburra lives in one place for most of its life. A family of kookaburras needs an area with some large native trees, and some garden areas in which they can safely search for food.
*To catch its food, the kookaburra uses a wait-and-pounce technique, taking up a post with a good view. When prey appears, the kookaburra drops straight down from its perch, its wings back, with beak ready to grab its dinner. The kookaburra is very family-orientated and when they mate it's for life.
Something to keep in mind!When people use pesticides to kill insects, they end up poisoning the animals that usually feed on those pests. When kookaburras eat contaminated insects, they absorb the pesticide chemicals and store them in their fat. When food is in short supply and the kookaburras use some of their fat store, high concentrations of chemicals may flow into the blood. The result can be reproductive losses or even death. If you must use pesticides, choose the least toxic ones - and take special care to avoid those that build up residues in the bodies of animals that prey on insects.
Our Amazing Blue-winged Kookaburras
The Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii) is very similar to the well-known Laughing Kookaburra, only the Blue-winged Kookaburra appears much brighter and mor ...more