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Australian Laughing Kookaburra

Australian Laughing Kookaburra
Photo Information
Copyright: Murray Lines (mlines) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS400D, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Superb Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-25 0:11
Viewed: 4438
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is one of the best known Australian birds in the bush areas. Usually they are in family groups of 3 but this one which looks very young is just getting about by himself now. They have a song which sounds just like a laugh, hence there name.
Dedicated to John Plumb (jplumb) who inspired me with a similar shot recently.

Dacelo novaeguineae

The Laughing Kookaburra is instantly recognisable in both plumage and voice. This large member of the kingfisher family measures 40 - 45 cm in length. It is generally off-white below, faintly barred with dark brown, and brown on the back and wings. The tail is more rufous, broadly barred with black. There is a conspicuous dark brown eye-stripe through the face.

The chuckling voice that gives this species its English name is a common and familiar sound throughout the bird's range. The loud 'koo-koo-koo-koo-koo-kaa-kaa-kaa' is often sung in a chorus with other individuals. The Laughing Kookaburra also has a shorter 'koooaa', which is normally given when accompanied by other members of its family group.

Identification may only be confused where the Laughing Kookaburra's range overlaps that of the Blue-winged Kookaburra, D. leachii, in eastern Queensland. The call of the Blue-winged Kookaburra is coarser than that of the Laughing Kookaburra, and ends somewhat abruptly. The Blue-winged Kookaburra lacks the brown eye-stripe, has a blue tail and a large amount of blue in the wing, and has a pale eye.

Distribution and Habitat
The Laughing Kookaburra occurs throughout eastern Australia. It has also been introduced to Tasmania and the extreme south-west of Western Australia, as well as New Zealand. It inhabits most areas where there are suitable trees. In the central north and north-west of Australia it is replaced by the Blue-winged Kookaburra. The two overlap in range throughout Queensland, although the Blue-winged Kookaburra tends to occupy the coastal areas.

Food and feeding
Laughing Kookaburras feed mostly on insects, worms and crustaceans, although small snakes, mammals, frogs and birds may also be eaten. Prey is seized by pouncing from a suitable perch. Small prey is eaten whole, but larger prey is killed by bashing it against the ground or tree branch. Laughing Kookaburras often become quite tame around humans and will readily accept scraps of meat. This 'pre-processed' food is still beaten against a perch before swallowing.

Laughing Kookaburras breed from August to January. The birds are believed to pair for life. The nest is a bare chamber in a naturally occurring tree hollow or in a burrow excavated in an arboreal (tree-dwelling) termite mound. Both sexes share the incubation duties and both care for the young. Other Laughing Kookaburras, usualy offspring of the previous 1-2 years, act as 'helpers' during the breeding season. Every bird in the group shares all parenting duties.

Janice, uleko, jusninasirun, rcrick, kjpweb, Alex99, pierrefonds, marhowie, JPlumb, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To pablominto: Evil ?mlines 1 01-25 00:34
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Murray,
I don't know why but I feel those birds have some evil plans, they always look so cunning..!
A fine composition with good details, effective point of view and good clarity in colours...
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-01-25 0:46]

I love these birds, but what a noise they make!!
Good shot of the Laughing Kookaburra Murray, you show it off really well. And you even have the catchlight in his eye too.
Well done

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-01-25 1:52]

Hello Murray,
Lovely capture of this fluffy little Kookaburra in a fine pose. Great sharpness and natural colours that stand out very nicely against the pleasant green background.
We had three young ones coming to the camp where we stayed in Queensland - they're certainly not evil just great beggars!!
TFS and regards, Ulla

Hello Murray,
Beautiful birds which I only heard in folksong. Thanks for showing me this beauty. I like the details and very well written plumage in this composition. The natural environment is well managed eliminating potential busyness to the subject. Please allow me to add this to my theme.

Well done.



Hello Murray,
Excellent capture of one of our native birds, I have a regular pair that come in for a feed, this is well framed and shows very good detail, nice low POV, all the best Cheers Rick :)

Good portrait. Detail and color are spot on. Maybe a tad soft - but nothing to be concerned about. Well done! Cheers, Klaus

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-01-25 9:28]

Hi Murray.
Wonderful bird picture. Excellent subject and composition. All is perfect: DOF, sharpness of the bird and twig, impressive nice BG. Nice pleasant colours. My compliments and TFS.

Hi Murray

The laughing Kookabura on the branch seems to be lost in his thinking. The point of view is showing with precision the details and colors of the bird. It is also well framed. Have a nice day.

Looks great Murray.
Nice detail, POV, comp, and well seen from the BG.

Hi Murray, a very fine shot of this Kookaburra with great captured colour and detail. Your equipment has supported you well in this shot. I see you shot at ISO 800 but I see little evidence of noise. Your selection of aperture was a good one here @ 5.6, nicely separating him from his background while maintaining very good sharp focus on the feathers and a great capture of that catch light in his eye. The composition is a good one, he's nicely positioned to the left side of the frame and looking to the right.

I was quite surprised (and honoured) to read your dedication. If shots of mine can inspire work like this, then I guess I'll just have to keep on shooting.

Thanks, John

Hallo Murray
I just love these birds. Maybe because I like kingfishers so much and the Kookaburra has a resemblance to kingfishers. I like the fine white feathers on the stomach; it looks very soft and fluffy. The patterns on the tail feathers are also an attraction. A well framed presentation with the bird looking into the light. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your day.
Kind regards.

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