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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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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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late supper
late supper

The matriarch of our current group of five kookaburras
saw I had nothing better to do and came down for a late snack at sunset.
The BirdCam was set up in haste but the result is not too bad after a little editing.
Best viewed in 'Original' format.
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boss bird
boss bird

Looking pleased with him/her-self after a remarkable incident:
I was reading in the lounge late afternoon and hadn't noticed the time
was way past the hour when the kookies come for a late snack.
Startled by a sharp bang on the window, I looked up to see 'boss bird' flying off
to join the rest of the family on the deck on the other side of the house.
Of course they were all there waiting expectantly.
How clever was it to guess or discover which room I was in
(though not sitting near the window), and to use such a method to attract my attention!
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Florette ?
Florette ?

The new member of our kookaburra set differs from others in the 'family'
in being more delicately featured as seen in the previous ('next') image.
The resemblance to long-remembered Florence ('Lady with the lamp' 2004)
is clearly seen in a comparison shown here.
I am tempted to give a name such as 'Florette' but unsure if it is female
judging by mixed cross-feeding behaviours we are seeing at present
(a spring-time phenomenon).
Best viewed in 'Original' format.
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Hoping for tidbits on a cold and rainy day.
These are three of 'our' current family of five birds.
The outer pair of adults have been around for three or more years,
but the middle bird is a new arrival (a blow-in) this year that has been accepted.
Best viewed in 'Original' format
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No laughing matter
No laughing matter

The so-called 'laughing' kookaburra has a darker side regarding a habit of occasionally preying on smaller birds.
This is the young kookie with a wattle bird that was quickly devoured, head, beak, claws and all.
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January 18, 2013
January 18, 2013

Unlike most of our garden birds, it is unusual to see kookaburras drinking or bathing.
The heat this summer has been so oppressive that this adult female decided to break with tradition.
After a splash in the bird-bath she is enjoying a prolonged soaking under a sprinkler.
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Now that the young bird seems well established,
the male parent that did most of the nurturing has started a moulting phase.
I admit to having a soft spot for this guy,
so I will be making sure he receives extra food scraps for the next 2-3 weeks.
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January 7, 2013
January 7, 2013

The female adults have stopped feeding the young bird with our offered food scraps,
despite taking food for themselves.
They are clearly expecting the youngster to begin fending for itself,
and today while left alone it ventured down to the deck
and although nervous was brave enough to face me as I took this shot from the kitchen doorway.
Soon, I expect it will be accepting food at the rail as do the other birds.
** Best viewed in 'original' format """
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January 4, 2013
January 4, 2013

The young bird is becoming more confident though still likes to be near one of the adults,
on this occasion the male parent.
Its beak is typically juvenile, short and stubby,
not yet the sharp and pointed stabbing weapon so effective for dealing with snakes.
** Best viewed in 'original' format ***
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