SPECIES: Dacelo novaeguneae

Famous for their territorial and communicative ‘laugh’, the Laughing Kookaburra is an iconic Australian species, approximately 40-48cm in size. There are 2 subspecies of Laughing Kookaburra: D.n.novaeguineae and D.n.minor. In both species, adult males have white wing patches in flight and a large bill which is black above and ivory below. They have a dark eye stripe, and a large pale head with brown spots and crown patch. The back and wings are brown, with pale blue mottling on the wings. The rump is often blue, and the tail is barred rufous-brown and black, edged with white, and plain white below. In subspecies D.n.minor, adult males are smaller. In adult females, the rump is brown or pale blue, and the head is more buff.

Laughing Kookaburras are carnivorous, feeding on small reptiles, insects, crabs and fish, as well as other birds from nests and chickens.

Social organisation and Reproduction

Laughing Kookaburras are very territorial and sedentary, usually living in small family groups which co-operate in raising young and protecting territory. Pairs are generally monogamous, breeding from September-December. Nests are usually in a tree hollow, termite nest chamber or in an earthen bank. Females lay 2-4 white eggs and both parents will incubate and raise the chicks.




Flock or Riot

Native To






Laughing Kookaburras inhabit open forests and woodlands, preferring tall trees with hollows.

Did You Know?

Laughing Kookaburras are also called Giant Kingfisher, Laughing Jackass and Settler’s/ Bushman’s Clock

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