PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. kookaburra
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    kookaburra photo
  • Scientific Name:  Dacelo novaeguineae                              (Click on photo to enlarge)
  • Sub Species: 2
  • Origin / Distribution:  East coast of Australia including Tasmania.  From the top of Queensland to the bottom of Tasmania plus the south-east portion of South Australia.  Established in Tasmania and Western Australia from introduced birds.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Prefer open sclerophyll forests, woodlands and areas that provide suitable tree hollows that are suitable for nests.  Have adapted well to urban areas, parks and gardens.  
  • Status In Wild:  Secure
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Very few available.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  ?
  • Adult plumage: attained at about ? months
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  In the wild these birds may be 4 or more years of age before the start to breed.
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx. 20 years or more.
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic Cock birds may have a blue patch on the rump.
  • Colour mutations:  ?
  • Availability:  Specialist Breeders
  • Temperament:  They are very territorial birds.  Their vocal display, mostly in the morning and evenings, is to warn other birds of their "ownership" of a particular area.  The Laughing Kookaburra is not a migratory bird and occupies the same territory throughout the year.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (approx.) $400
  • Description Of Adults:  The Laughing Kookaburra is the largest Kingfisher in the world.
  1. Length: Approx. 470 mm (or approx. 19 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above (Click on photo to enlarge).
  3. Weight: Approx. ? gms (or approx. ? ozs)

The Laughing Kookaburra is a member of the Kingfishers family.

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to "Government Laws" web page.

Housing Requirements:  Click on "Housing birds" web page for general details on the housing of  Softbills or read on for specific details for this finch.

Typical large planted finch aviary is ideal.  4 metres  x 1 metre x 2.1 metres high.

Diet / Feeding:  Click on "Feeding birds" web page for general details on the nutrition of  Softbills or read on for specific details for this finch.

Natural diet includes snakes, small reptiles and lizards, small rodents, insects and occasionally small birds.  Kookaburras bash their prey to a pulp prior to swallowing it.  In the wild Kookaburras will wait for long periods of time waiting for their prey.  Insects and vertebrates make up the majority of their food intake.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes / No
  • Nesting months:  September to January.
  • Nesting receptacles:  In the wild these birds nest in tree hollows.
  • Nest: Nest is usually a log with a diameter of about 500mm.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen / cock / both share.  In the wild the hen and some helpers will incubate the eggs.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Cutch/s per year.. usually 1.  Eggs per nest usually 2, sometimes 3.  Incubation approx. 23 - 24 days.  Fledge approx. 35 days.  Independent approx. another 8 -12 weeks.  Incubation starts with the laying of the first egg.  Eggs usually hatch at 2 day intervals.

Pairs form strong long term pair bonds.  Kookaburras are social birds and the breeding pair may be supported in the raising of their current young by birds from the previous years fledglings.

In some nests in the wild the first hatched, biggest bird may kill the smaller nestling.  This behaviour is termed "siblicide".  The result of this behaviour results in the fledgling from the "siblicide" nest achieving a heavier weight upon leaving the nest when compared to nests where this practise did not occur.  The 2 surviving young usually comprise one hen and one cock bird.

Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.  Refer "Specific References" as listed below and "General References" listings.                  

Health Issues:  Refer  "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer above option - "Avian Health Issues" web page.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture

  • A/A Vol 58 No. 3 Mar 2004 Page 62-63 (Blue Winged).
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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