Wild Laughing Kookaburras visit our garden most days. They make a sound as though they are laughing, which in itself is very funny. They are the first bird you hear at dawn in Australia . We have a family of 8 living close by in the bush. They are a very family orientated bird whereby the siblings help bring up the other siblings.
The Kookaburras first came to us over 30 years ago when we had cats and dogs. The cats would only eat raw meat and we found they left the birds alone when we gave them that diet. As our cats were slow eaters, the Kookaburras discovered there was a free feed going. They soon started helping themselves to the cat food. Ever since that time, the Kookaburras have visited most days. When they are nesting, they don’t come so often, but once the fledglings have grown, they come too. They form breeding pairs for life.
At first the young are very tentative, but quickly become friendly and quite used to us. Our guests enjoy being able to hand feed them and take their own photos.
We have often been away for several months, but still they return once we are home. There is plenty of natural food around for them, such as worms, insects, small snakes and mice etc. One time a Kookaburra visited us with a mouse in its mouth, he seemed so proud of his quarry. They kill their prey by bashing it on some hard surface, you can see this if we give them a larger piece of meat. They will bash the meat on the deck railing.
We give them raw meat, which they love. This attracts other birds too, such as Grey Butcher Birds, Magpies, Pied Currawongs.
The Australian Laughing Kookaburra is found all along the east coast of Australia, south west coast and I have actually seen one myself up in the Kimberley region of north west Australia.