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Discussion Starter #1
Looked out my window while having tea last night, and saw this little visitor taking his ease on my garden chair. Recognised him as the little chap who follows me when I am on the rider mower in the hope of swooping on lizards and frogs that are frightened out of hiding. He certainly regarded me as an ally rather than a threat, and posed in a range of attitudes for me while I clicked off 50 odd photos. Wished I had my video camera ready later when a blackbird started divebombing him - probably in defense of his nest nearby. What a brave little blackbird he was: no doubt the kookie could have done plenty of damage with that beak if he felt inclined!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
is he related to a hawk or something?
No, he is a large variety of kingfisher native to Australia. They are carnivorous, usually eating snakes, lizards, frogs, worms etc, but are quite partial to small birds like finches and will eat young birds in their nests. They have an unmistakable cackling, raucous laugh and often become quite tame if people feed them tidbits of meat - they will even take meat from your hand if accustomed to people. We have a few who regard our farm as their territory, and they have become quite used to us even though we don't hand feed them. My pigeons are used to their presence, but will respectfully vacate a favourite sunny position if the kookaburra decides to land next to them!
 

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No, he is a large variety of kingfisher native to Australia. They are carnivorous, usually eating snakes, lizards, frogs, worms etc, but are quite partial to small birds like finches and will eat young birds in their nests. They have an unmistakable cackling, raucous laugh and often become quite tame if people feed them tidbits of meat - they will even take meat from your hand if accustomed to people. We have a few who regard our farm as their territory, and they have become quite used to us even though we don't hand feed them. My pigeons are used to their presence, but will respectfully vacate a favourite sunny position if the kookaburra decides to land next to them!
When I first saw that pic, I thought it was a variety of kingfisher, the shape is unmistakeable. .

I wonder if its skills with catching snakes etc are as accurate and fast as its cousin when it fishes
 

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Looked out my window while having tea last night, and saw this little visitor taking his ease on my garden chair. Recognised him as the little chap who follows me when I am on the rider mower in the hope of swooping on lizards and frogs that are frightened out of hiding. He certainly regarded me as an ally rather than a threat, and posed in a range of attitudes for me while I clicked off 50 odd photos. Wished I had my video camera ready later when a blackbird started divebombing him - probably in defense of his nest nearby. What a brave little blackbird he was: no doubt the kookie could have done plenty of damage with that beak if he felt inclined!
Does the kookaburra sit in the old gum tree?

:p
 

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Does the kookaburra sit in the old gum tree?

:p
Well since they nest in hollowed out tree trunks or tree holes or old termite nests, and since a lot of termites make their nests in old dead wood & trees, I'd say it was highly probable :rolleyes:
 

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Well since they nest in hollowed out tree trunks or tree holes or old termite nests, and since a lot of termites make their nests in old dead wood & trees, I'd say it was highly probable :rolleyes:
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gum drops he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
Leave some there for me

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Counting all the monkeys he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
That's not a monkey, that's me!

Kookaburra flies from the old gum tree
Flapping his wings for all to see
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Flying oh so free

Kookaburra lands in the old gum tree
Fluttering his wings for all to see
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Happy as can be!

Kookaburra sits on a rusty nail
Gets a boo-boo in his tail
Cry, Kookaburra! Cry, kookaburra!
Oh how life can be!

Kookaburra sits on the electric wire
Jumping up and down with his tail on fire
Ouch, Kookaburra, ouch!
Kookaburra, hot your tail must be!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
"I wonder if its skills with catching snakes etc are as accurate and fast as its cousin when it fishes"

Yep! It can be a bit offputting when a kookie suddenly divebombs right near you, but he nearly always gets his prey. Their eyesight, like all birds of prey, must be really sharp!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ptras, I am very impressed with your recital! Have to say, I could only rattle off the first and last verses from memory. I think every Australian child sings this song at school!
 

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Ptras, I am very impressed with your recital! Have to say, I could only rattle off the first and last verses from memory. I think every Australian child sings this song at school!
Don't be too impressed. I remembered the first verse from second or third grade...over forty years ago! However, I had to get out my Google search to get the rest of the verses. :cool:
 

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Yep! It can be a bit offputting when a kookie suddenly divebombs right near you, but he nearly always gets his prey. Their eyesight, like all birds of prey, must be really sharp!
Kingfishers are amazing to watch, Sometimes they hover & look, other times they fly over the water and it honestly looks like they've just been shot out of the sky, they just dive bomb straight in and under, about 5 seconds later its like a rocket being launched from under the water as they blast out with the fish in their beaks. :eek:
 

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Ptras, I am very impressed with your recital! Have to say, I could only rattle off the first and last verses from memory. I think every Australian child sings this song at school!
It's popular enough that every American child does too.

They're a very quirky interesting bird--seem to be very observant. I got to be somewhat acquainted with a pair of them this summer while interning at a zoo. They can be super loud in the morning!
 

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We have some Kingfishers around here. I can always tell when they are visiting our pond because their call fills the entire valley. I can see where they got their strange voices! The Kookaburra is a very unique bird :p And very pretty!
 
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