Amy Whitehead's Research

the ecological musings of a conservation biologist

Wildlife Wednesday: Kookaburra



Given that I’m back in Melbourne, and this week we celebrate Australia Day, I thought it only fair that I post a picture of something Australian.  Now, being a kiwi who has only recently crossed the ditch, I should confess that I know very little about Australian wildlife (except for the damage that brushtail possums do in NZ).  In fact, most of what I know about the kookaburra comes from the children’s nursery rhyme!

Kookaburra are well-known for their (slightly creepy) laugh-like call , which is used to establish territory boundaries.  They are carnivorous and will perch on branches waiting to launch themselves onto unsuspecting prey, such as lizards, large insects and small mammals.  This handsome fellow was hanging out along the Great Ocean Road outside a cafe, where it made a living swooping down on the lunch of unsuspecting tourists!