Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers of the genus Dacelo native to Australia and New Guinea, which grow to between 28–42 cm in length. The name is a loanword from Wiradjuri guuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. The loud distinctive call of the Laughing Kookaburra is widely used as a stock sound effect in situations that involve an Australian bush setting.
These birds are found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, as well as in suburban areas with tall trees or near running water. Even though they belong to the larger group known as "kingfishers", kookaburras are not closely associated with water. The genus Dacelo was introduced by the English zoologist William Elford Leach in 1815. The name Dacelo is an anagram of Alcedo, the Latin word for a kingfisher. The laughing kookaburras shown here are Dacelo novaeguineae (native to eastern Australia, introduced to southwest).
Kookaburras are almost exclusively carnivorous, eating mice, snakes, insects, small reptiles, and the young of other birds; they have also been known to take goldfish from garden ponds. In zoos they are usually fed food for birds of prey. The Darebin Parklands is a perfect habitat for these handsome birds and one may see these quite commonly right throughout the area of the park. Their laugh-like call is definitely a sign you're in Australia!
This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.