The laughing kookaburra is well known both as a symbol of Australia’s birdlife and as the inspirational “merry, merry king of the bush” from the children’s song.
Native to the eucalyptus forests of eastern Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the largest member of the Kingfisher family, with females weighing up to one pound (455 grams) and growing to 18 inches (45 centimetres) in length. Its beak can reach 4 inches (10 centimetres) long and is used to snatch a variety of invertebrates and small vertebrates, including the occasional small snake. Since being introduced in western Australia and New Zealand, the kookaburra has angered farmers by preying on their fowl.
Average life span in captivity: Up to 20 years
Size: 15 to 18 in (39 to 45 cm)
Weight: 13 to 16 oz (368 to 455 g)
Did you know? Noisy early morning and evening choruses have earned the laughing kookaburra the nickname “bushman’s clock.”
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