We live in a bird-noisy garden and suburb and we are usually suitably grateful. Our gratitude was somewhat strained, I have to admit, when this family of Blue-winged Kookaburras started calling at dawn, but I had enough goodwill left for them to spot them in the top of a neighbour’s eucalypt an hour later and immortalise them.
That’s Dad on the left, with Mum beside him and (presumably) their well-grown chick on the right.
They are very loud when they let loose. So are the Sulphur-crested Cockatoos which often pass overhead and sometimes pause in the Burdekin Plum tree. So are the Curlews which scream at night on our footpath and, at this time of year, the incessantly-calling Koels.
Early on Saturday morning my daughter heard a lot of scuffling going on in the leaves near the back fence and, through her bedroom window, saw two kookaburras locked together in some kind of struggle. After closer examination through binoculars she identified one as a Laughing Kooka and the other as a Blue-winged. The latter, let’s call him Bluey, had more extensive and more vivid blue plumage and also a pale, “scary-looking” eye compared with the Laughing one’s deceptively gentle-looking brown eye.
What she discovered was that Laughing Boy had its beak jammed down the throat of Bluey, which in turn had its own beak firmly clamped down on the intruder, and they were dancing about like that apparently unable, or unwilling, to unlock themselves.
Between the floods and the resumption of regular service on Green Path we received an email via the Contact page. The observations in it were so good that I asked permission to publish it, and here’s the result. I have used italics for my words to keep them separate; apart from that, I’ve done just a tiny bit of editing for consistency and brevity, and added links where appropriate.
My name is Ray and my wife (Judy) and I are retired and live in Annandale, backed onto the creek that runs from the Army base under the A1 and the “Richard I Bong” Bridge on Macarthur Drive. Got your email address from the Green Path website and you seemed quite experienced in birdlife. Thought you might be able to enlighten us – if you have time.
We have been visited lately by four Blue-winged and one Laughing Kookaburras (see pics attached).
Just a quick post today to keep the blog ticking over while I’m busy with other things: three photos taken on a visit to the Palmetum in mid November where we were lucky enough to see a male Blue-winged Kookaburra, Dacelo leachii, identify his nesting hollow for us by visiting it.
There’s more information about the species and its Laughing cousin on this page.
We hear Blue-winged Kookaburras (Dacelo leachii) more often than we see them but this one spent an hour or more in our garden a few weeks ago and I enjoyed waiting for her different poses. (This photo doesn’t tell us she’s female but other views do: females’ tail feathers are red-brown while males’ are bright blue.)