Lifespan: Up to 20 years
Weight: Up to 465g
Height: Up to 47cm
Status: Least concern
The laughing kookaburra is the world’s largest kingfisher species. Their unique call, closely resembling a laugh or cackle, echoes through their habitat, letting other kookaburras know that this is their territory.
To catch its food, the meat-loving kookaburra uses a wait-and-pounce technique. With a good view of its prey, the kookaburra drops straight down from its perch, beak ready to grab its food. Large prey items like lizards and snakes are bashed against a tree or a rock, to kill them and soften them up before they are eaten.
Laughing kookaburras mate for life and establish a strong social system in which only the dominant male and female in a family group will breed. Nests are made in tree hollows or termite mounds and the entire family contributes to incubation, feeding and protection of the young.
According to legend, the kookaburra’s morning call is a signal for the sky people to light the great fire that illuminates and warms the earth by day.