Kookaburras of the High Plain


In early January, a family of five laughing kookaburras (we don't get the blue-winged kookaburra this far south) displaced a parliament of ravens. The ravens cleared out the kestrels.

Australian Raven

The Ravens had also evicted a team of hardworking White-winged Choughs, which I was sad to see leave. A team of ten Choughs plus two babies would systematically circle my farmhouse each day - collecting bugs and raking the garden. I could watch the extended family all day and sometimes did. One of the pleasures of a family of these crows is that they are always on the move, jumping and gliding,  flashing their white wings.  


Each of the bird groups had brought their own farm management practices to bear, between them eliminating small rodents and snakes. 

The kookaburras have also replaced my electronic alarms - calling dawn and sunset, in a series of subtle calls and then a symphony designed to wake the dead. My grandfather called this kookaburra "the Settler's Clock" because they welcome daybreak and the close of day with a deep throaty laugh.  They live in small groups, sharing the upbringing of young - laughing unexpectedly to startle insects (and me) for food.  

They also feed on bugs on the lawn.

In spring, young, Kookaburras can be territorial.

If you have never heard a kookaburra laugh - have a listen here.


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