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Kookaburra blog

The kookaburra is perhaps the best known Australian bird because of its distinctive "laugh".
It is a member of the kingfishers, but feeds on land. Their family bonds are strong, and young birds usually remain with the parents for a year or so to help raise new chicks.

An unusual but delightful character is that they seem to seek out human contact.
A family succession of these birds has been around our home for almost three decades, and we have followed the progress of many generations of offspring.

The gallery has been revised into an occasional blog format
starting with one or more recent images before showing the story in sequence from the beginning.

For in-flight images of kookaburras alighting on food see my gallery: SNAP

Click on an image to see a larger display. Thanks for looking.
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a face at the window
a face at the window

One of the young kookaburras has decided not wait on the deck rail for our attention.
It is now bold enough to come and tap (as in 'bang'!) on the kitchen window.
I have placed a small pot penguin to keep it company until I am ready to respond.
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a cool autumn morning
a cool autumn morning

Today was the coolest autumn morning the young kookaburras would have experienced so far.
The youngest of the four to arrive recently has already learned how to watch us
through the kitchen window and make like a fluffy toy in hope of melting our resistance.
Guess who won!
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Last in line
Last in line

In over 30 years of interacting with generations of this group of kookaburras
mostly they have reared only one chick per season and rarely, two. Normally rearing
is finished by end of December and the youngsters have gone their way by mid-January.
This year they were late, but raised four young, and from the nurturing behavior we think from two of the females.
The young bird here is #4, the last to arrive.
It's so cute, and has started feeding from my hand,
so how could we not be tempted to spoil it just a little bit?

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Breakfast time
Breakfast time

While we were admiring the new arrival (below)
its Mum came by to see if we had a tid-bit to spare.
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Who's been sitting in my chair?
Who's been sitting in my chair?

While having breakfast today we were delighted to see
one of the very young new arrivals watching us from the deck.
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Probably the mother of the new arrival (below).
Of the four adult birds in the family she has been the most frequent
in visiting for food scraps and taking them back to the tree hollow.
For a while she looked tired and disheveled, but now has new feathers.
She still often perches near the young bird and occasionally feeds it with
foods scraps from us, but increasingly ignores its pleading so that soon it will become independent.

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New kid on the block
New kid on the block

After much sending scraps of food via the parent birds,
this week we have been introduced to the latest member of the family.
At present this one seems nervous of being close to people
but that is likely to change at it watches the older birds interacting with us.
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A feathered friend
A feathered friend

A mature bird that had obviously been grooming her new plumage
after a period of moulting.
Sometimes they allow me to gently remove such occasional detritus,
but on this occasion she preferred to keep the new decoration.
A few attempts were needed before I could catch her in profile
with the feather against a dark background without alarming her with my shooting antics.
Best viewed in 'original' format.
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Why don't you feed me?
Why don't you feed me?

Unusually this season, the local family of kookaburras has produced a second clutch of young,
and this time apparently a male and female pair.
Here the new male is exploring every opportunity for food.
In the last couple of days he has begun (been allowed) to take scraps of food placed
in front of him whereas previously the adult birds intervened to ensure that any items of food
we offered were only passed to the young birds after checking by themselves.
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dinner in the rain
dinner in the rain

Each spring we witness a courtly ritual of giving food gifts prior to mating.
Here a male (foreground) had taken a morsel of chicken skin from my hand
and is passing it to a waiting female.
Often, the female takes tidbits of food directly before waiting for a token gift from her mate.
Best viewed in 'Original' format.
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