Range: Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.
Habitat: Dry eucalyptus forests, woodlands, and urban parks and gardens.
Diet: Mostly small mammals and reptiles, sometimes frogs. They have been known to steal food from picnics.
Lifespan: 10-12 years in the wild, up to 15 in human care.
Kinta: Hatched at the Tracy Aviary in Utah June 2004 (raised by Sharon herself!). Kinta came to Turtle Bay in August 2011.
Hatched at the Tracy Aviary in Utah June 2004 (raised by Sharon herself!). Kinta came to Turtle Bay in August 2011
2017 Honorary Adoptive Parents: Karen S. Taylor
- They are the largest member of the kingfisher family. Most kingfishers are bright and eat mainly aquatic animals, but the kookaburra is dull in color and rarely hunts in the water.
- There are four species of kookaburra.
- It is pronounced “COOK-a-burr-ah”.
- When they eat a snake, the kookaburra will sit with part of the snake hanging out of its mouth, as it gets digested it will swallow more of the snake until it is completely gone.
- They will bash their prey on rocks, branches and other hard surfaces to kill it, and even drop it from mid-air to tenderize the meat.
- Kookaburras live in family groups, with an older pair and then several young offspring (1-4 years of age) helping to raise babies. They will mate for life. Offspring leave at about 4 years to establish their own family.
- Known as the “bushman’s alarm clock”, they will call in groups at dawn and dusk advertising their territory. The vocalization sounds like a laugh and incorporates trills and hoots. They have other vocalizations for mating, begging, locating others and aggression.
- The call of the kookaburra was believed by aboriginals to signal the sky people to light the sun each morning.
- Females are slightly larger than males.