Name: Kookaburra, also known as "laughing jackass."
Scientific name:   Dacelo novaeguineae
Range:   Eastearn and Southern Australia
Habitat:   Woodland areas typically wet and cold
Status:   Not threatened. It has been successfuly introduced into Tasmania. 
Diet in the wild:   It can be both insectivorous and carnivorous. Snakes, snails, crayfish, frogs, rodents.
Diet in the zoo:    Carnivorous (mice) and insectivorous. 
Location in the zoo:   Education Center.
Physical Description:
  • Worlds biggeest kingfisher.
  • Body Length 1 1/2 feet (1/2 meter).
  • Weight up to 1 pound (1/2 kilogram).
  • Strogn but narrow sharp pointed bills.
  • Brown, black or white plumage. 

Behavioral  information:

Kookaburras form community groups, together they share and defend their home territories.  They mark this territory with their calls and if neccesary they will physically defend it from other birds.  Kookaburras  struggle to establish a new territory for themselves, they do not build nests, instead they use cavitities in trees or make their own hollows within  termites' nests. 

Reproduction information: 

Kookaburras female lays between 2 and 4 white eggs. The incubation period lasts 24-26 days. The nest is typically 30 feet high. Sexual maturity and adulthood is reached at one year of age. 

Comments about the Kookaburras of the Fort Worth Zoo:

The Fort Worth Kookaburras were captive born and are not related. The zoo only has a male and a female kookabura.  The personnel has observed that the male kookaburra starts singing and as a consequence  the female will follow. They are feed three times a day and their diet consists mainly of mice. 

 Personal Observations: 

The Kookaburas name are "Thunder" and "Lightning." They seem to do a little bit of everything. Singing, sleeping etc. The kookaburras do not have to be in a specific mood to sing. They usually sleep at night, however during mating seasons they will also spend time sleeping during the day. 

Source Materials and Related Links: 



Dacelo Novaeguineae

Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Bernhard Grzimek, eidtor-in chief. New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.,  Vol. 9 Birds III. 1975. 

The Origin and Evolution of Birds. Alan Feduccia. 2nd ed. USA.

Page author:{short description of image}Karime Naime

Send E-mail to karime_n@hotmail.com

or to mac@whozoo.org



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