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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 over three decades, and we have followed the progress of many generations of their offspring.

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

Click on an image to see a larger display. Comments are welcome. Thanks for looking.
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Nature, red in tooth and claw
"Nature, red in tooth and claw"
In Memorium for a Mouse - after Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Late afternoon, the matriarch kookaburra arrived alone seemingly wanting to show off her catch
with much chattering for several minutes before taking the carcass to her youngsters.
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my new best friend
my new best friend

Among our group of kookaburra adults and chicks we have discovered a new hanger-on.
It is probably an abandoned bird from elsewhere and the regular visitors are steadfastly ignoring it.
Whenever it is left alone I have tried to encourage it to take scraps of food and today I finally succeeded.
It disappears for a few hours during the day, probably trying to stay in contact with the other birds,
and fortunately it seems they are not attacking it. I expect it will return later today when we can resume
attempts at getting to know each other.
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independence day
independence day

The eldest of this year's kookaburra chicks making a statement.
Today the mother bird brought her two youngsters to visit our deck.
After taking scraps of food for them from me she moved to a nearby tree and left them to get to know us.
I tossed a couple of scraps to within easy reach, which after a short hesitation they soon did.
It is obvious from this typical way of demanding attention that the idea had caught on.
I am fascinated by the way the mother bird manages such training.
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feed me
feed me

The youngest of the two kookaburra chicks is now happy to be fed close to our deck.
Transfer of the food happens very quickly, so this is one shot from a high-speed burst.
As usual, mother is tentative about moving closer than necessary in case that sharp young beak suddenly lunges.
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new arrivals 2018
new arrivals 2018

This week the mother kookaburra finally brought her two new chicks to visit.
It is apparent that the one on the left is a little older than the other. From mum's recent behaviour
we had suspected that this year there was more than one in the offing
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Arriving not falling
Arriving not falling

Does the camera ever lie?
Mother kookaburra appears to be falling backwards, but in fact is captured here in process of arriving.
A single frame from a series taken in a burst at 12 frames per second.
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Busy mother
Busy mother

Early summer is the time our local kookaburras hatch and raise their chicks.
This shot shows mother arriving in hope of a scrap of food to take back to her young
in a large tree about 100 m from our deck.
Why early summer? Well the spring flush of hatching for most other birds has just passed
and there are many young birds about - often a target of choice for kookaburras.
This shot taken in a burst at 12 fps.
Adelaide Hills, South Australia.
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Four minutes and counting
Four minutes and counting

It's spring here Down-under and pairing prior to mating is happening. Of five kookaburras currently visiting our garden, the senior male (right) has just made two visits to a waiting female (left) with gifts of food taken from my hand, but on this third trip he decided to tease her by holding onto the food - and as this shot was taken they had been in this position for over 4 minutes!
another visit
another visit

An old image from 2009 improved with a Hi-Pass sharpening technique new to me.
The bird is about to alight having flown from a tree perch when it saw me place a food scrap.
The camera was remotely triggered to take a series of shots during the approach.
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.
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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