The Laughing Jackass

It is an Eastern Australian bird of the kingfisher family (Alcedinidae), it calls sounds like fiendish laughter.

The laughing jackass

Their call is to establish territory among family groups most often at dawn and dusk. Its early dawn and dusk cackling chorus earned its nickname “bushman’s clock”.

Kookaburra feeding on prey

Hearing kookaburras in the full chorus is one of the more extraordinary experiences of the Australian bush.


The bird is a stout stocky bird with a large head, prominent brown eyes, and a very large bill. They have a distinctive dark eye stripe.

The female kookaburra is usually larger and less blue to the rump than the male. Females weigh up to one pound and growing to 18 inches in length.


Kookaburras are exclusively carnivores, eating mice, snakes, yabbies, insects, small reptiles, and the young of other birds. They live in dry eucalyptus forests, woodlands, city parks, and gardens


Laughing kookaburras are monogamous, having the same partner for life. Kookaburra chicks may be blind and featherless once hatched but they are still aggressive.

The chicks have hooks on their beaks. They use their beaks to fight each other in their nest.
Females lay one to five eggs, which are tended by a collective unit of parents and elder siblings.

Laughing kookaburras are not currently considered threatened although the loss of habitat is a primary threat to the birds.


They have adapted well to human development and often inhabit suburban areas which provide both food and shelter.


Kookaburras when hunting sits motionless on a perch and watch a prey pass by. The bird keeps its head perfectly still while its body sways with the branch below. The food is swallowed head first and whole.

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