Kookaburra Family

Allow me to introduce you to our new resident kookaburra family!

There has been a pair of kookaburras hanging around our place for several months now. Here’s a photo of them together. Not sure which is which, and the one on the left seems to have lost some of its tail feathers.

Awhile ago, we discovered that the pair had made themselves a nest in a termite mound on a gum tree. Unfortunately, the tree is located over the fence line in a neighbour’s property and the nest faces away from our house, so it’s made it really hard to see much. Here’s a very short video I took from as close as I dared so as not to disturb the birds (using a zoom lens and after wading through hilly bushland in the rain as the sun was beginning to set!).

It was fascinating to watch the two kookaburras find some food, then sit in a nearby tree, make a quiet noise then suddenly fly over to the nest, quickly feed their young, and then fly off as if nothing was going on.

This went on for awhile, then on 22nd December we saw the first kookaburra fledging in our backyard, or rather, we heard it before we saw it! The next day, the second fledging appeared. Since then, the activity (and the noise!) hasn’t stopped!! You may not be able to tell from the video below, but the noise the baby is making is extremely loud, and it doubles in volume when both babies are together and making that noise at the same time. I can hear it inside the house with all the doors and windows shut!

In the video you can hear the calling of one of the parents who was perched on a branch just a few feet away from me. And you can also see the other parent fly off in front of the baby, probably going to get more food.

Early one morning, I found both baby kookaburras sitting on the veranda screeching for breakfast.

And here they are sitting in a gum tree in front of our house.

This is one of the parents having a rest on the veranda and making the call to round up the kids for a feed, I think. This kookaburra is quite friendly and allows me to get up close for some nice photos and video.

This is the same bird on another day. Looks exhausted!

Here’s the other parent busy looking for food for its hungry and noisy young.

And I keep being surprised at all the food they are finding, not just on our property, but around the neighbouring ones too. This short video shows both the parents together and laughing that typical kookaburra laugh, but you’ll also notice that one has a lizard in its beak, ready to feed one of the youngsters you can hear begging for food in the background.

Turned out that after perching on a branch near a baby kookaburra, and spending ages calling and calling and the baby not moving an inch off its branch, the kookaburra ate the lizard itself!

Here is a sequence of shots showing one of the baby kookaburras being fed.

Hurry up, I'm starving!
Hurry up, I’m starving!
More please!
More please!

And I managed to get this quick video of a baby kookaburra being fed a huge millipede or centipede! What a noisy eater!

And here’s a contented baby kookaburra after being fed, sitting and digesting that food, with one of the parents keeping it company.

Aww, cute!

It’s quite exciting watching this kookaburra family, even if it does get quite noisy several times a day when the babies are hungry!  🙂



7 thoughts on “Kookaburra Family

  1. Hallo Sue
    What gorgeous photos! I agree with you and Ashley – it’s very difficult to film a kookaburra laughing. I think maybe they feel vulnerable when doing that, because they have to stick their heads up into the air and so can’t see much. Maybe that’s why they stop as soon as they notice us. On the other hand, perhaps it’s just because we’re as interesting to them as they are to us!

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  2. Fantastic photo/video essay Sue. You are so privileged. I am sending this link to a family of friends in Japan who were here for Christmas . They wanted to hear a Kooka but missed out. We had plenty of Wattlebirds though.

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    1. Thanks Denis. What a shame your visitors didn’t get to hear a kookie while they were out here. Hope they enjoy the video. 🙂 Happy New Year!


  3. Lovely showcase on the Kookers Sue! Love the immature ones and the feeding video, very precious. I am still tying to get the perfect Kookaburra calling in good video, as soon as they see you they stop calling. Have a wonderful New year!

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    1. Thanks Ashley. I agree, it is quite difficult to get any bird singing for the camera. That video I took in this post was an accident as I was filming something else and they started laughing so swung over and got the last bit of it. Otherwise, by the time you turn on the camera, find the bird that’s singing, focus the lens, and start videoing, it’s all over! 🙂

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