Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 52 - Kookaburras

This is the 52nd WBW since I picked up the reins from Springman and changed the "World" to "Wild", just to make things feel a more mine!  A big thank you to everybody who has linked up and joined in.  At present we get between about 55 and 70 blog link up each week.   But plans are afoot to increase the number!!

So, given that its an anniversary I thought I'd go with a bit of a classic Australian bird - the Kookaburra.

Now most people probably know about - or have heard in old Tarzan movies - the Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaguineae) from books, films and tourist information.

There is a good story attached to the scientific name.  "Alcedo" is the genus name of a European  kingfisher as used by the father of all things binomial Linnaeus.  The sharp eyed may have spotted that Dacelo is an anagram of Alcedo.  In a 1842 report contributed to by no lesser a person than Charles Darwin the playing of such games in species names was described as "in very bad taste, and is especially calculated to bring the science into contempt".  (That must have been a fun group to be involved with)  ..... but wait there's more.  The specific name novaguineae was used because it was thought that the first specimens of this species were from New Guinea - which they were not!  They were from New South Wales!  So the whole name is a bit of a joke all in all!

So here are some pictures of the anagram bird from the wrong country!




The laughing kookaburra is found down the east coast of Australia - but is also common in a small part of Western Australia and Tasmania where they were introduced.

Many people may not be aware that there is another species of Kookaburra in Australia - the Blue Winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii).  This bird is name for its blue wings (!) and William Leach who described it.   The voice of this bird is described as "Appalling, a guttural 'klock, klock' developing into a cacophony of mechanical squawks and screeches" - and while this bird is not the most tuneful I listened to, this seems a bit harsh. 

The first two images are of a Blue Winged Kookaburra sat on a light pole at a restaurant on Magnetic Island - I have no idea why the bird has a golden beak! As you can see it was at night!



This next picture is not one of H's best - but it does show the blue wings and tail of this bird rather well - this was taken at a falconry display on Kangaroo Island.  


This bird (an occasionally this boy!) is found in Northern Australia - which is why is probably less well known than its Laughing cousin!

And that just about wraps up the One Year Anniversary Post for WBW.
Now its over to you!  Click on the link below and off you go. Don't forget to link back to here and to visit and invite along new bloggers.  SM


51 comments:

Rajesh said...

Beautiful bird.

Hanne Bente said...

Great pictures you show of a beautiful bird :)

Ken Schneider said...

An iconic bird! I did not realize that their plumage can have so much color.

Ken Schneider said...

An iconic bird! I did not realize that their plumage can have so much color.

i stora drag said...

Happy 1:st Anniversary to WBW and you Stewart!

Love those bird photos! We don't have the bird here in Sweden, the land of Linneaus!
Greetings Pia

Nette Cecilia said...

One year already ,time is passing so fast .I love the bluewinged one ,my favorite colour ,Nette

Jo said...

OMW What beautiful images of the Kookaburras. They certainly are more colorful than I imagine, Stewart. I'm back from leave in South Africa and have linked my Bird post of humble photos to your meme. Have a great day. Greetings from Jo, East Africa.

TheChieftess said...

Congratulations Stewart!!! And thanks for hosting Wild Birds!!!

Way back when...we used to sing the Kookabura song in Girl Scouts...one of our favorites!!! We even nicknamed one of our leaders that...and yet...I think this is the first time I've actually seen a pic of one!!!
Thanks!!!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Happy Anniversary for WBW Stewart Style!!!

Love the Kookaburras!!!

Findlay Wilde said...

What a great 1 year anniversary blog. My post for WBW is my 1 year blog anniversary too. From Findlay

Sharon Wagner said...

His looks certainly aren't appalling. Happy Anniversary! I love hooking up with WBW now.

Phil said...

Charles Darwin was so busy studying and describing new species maybe he just ran out of inventing relative names so used anagrams instead? Anyway, as you point out the kookaburra does look a little like Common Kingfisher, albeit a lot bigger and more vocal. Congrats on the anniversary - time flies when you're having fun. Intruiged about making WBW bigger - bring it on. Cheers.

Andrea said...

They do look like Kingfishers, but the coloring is magnificent ... even the laughing Kookaburra has a touch of blue on his wing. Like the Chieftess, I also sang the Kookaburra song in the Girlscouts and now, thanks to this wonderful post, I will have that song humming away in my head all day. Brings back fine memories as well as an appreciation for this adorable bird.

So glad, Stewart, that you took up the ball and ran with it on Wild Bird Wednesday(formerly World Bird Wednesday). I have learned a great deal from you and enjoy your wonderful pictures and commentary. I even enjoy your other blog which everyone should read. You have many levels of talent and I am happy to be privy to them through your blog.
Congratulations on year one and here's to many more ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

EG CameraGirl said...

Happy anniversary. Thw Kookaburras do seem very appropriate to celebrate your first year in charge of this meme.

Phil said...

DOH - Forgot to say - great pics Stewart.

Gary said...

Great close ups pf a beauty. Boom &Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Brian King said...

Love these birds even though I've only seen them in photos! I like the heavy bill and "hair do"! Congratulations on the first anniversary of your WBW!

TexWisGirl said...

such cool birds! such great expressions on them, too.

congrats on 1 year of hosting, stewart! and thank you!!!

Frank said...

So I guess the Kookaburra had the last laugh! Smashing pics of both species.

Congrats on your 1st Anniversary of Wild BW, Stewart.

eileeninmd said...

Happy Anniversary! I appreciate you hosting WBW! It is fun and I love seeing everyone's wild bird. Your Kookaburra is wonderful. I did not know about the Blue Winged kookaburra, it is a beauty. Great shots!

Nora at Island Rambles said...

The Blue Winged one is a real stunner!! What a wonderful color. I have only seen one here in a bird center. It made the strangest sound. Happy Anniversary. Sure glad you continued on with the birds here.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Thank you so much for giving us the pleasure of your hosting company this past year Stewart...you are delightful. I wish you and all of us a very wonderful year coming up as well. Aah the Kookaburras...love them, but alas, I must see them in cages at the Louisville Zoological Gardens and even in those cages, the wiring is so tight, you can never get a good look-see, let alone a nice image. Maybe when I go next week, I will try and see them again. Your images are all really wonderful. The species that you have shown are both remarkable. Happy week, Happy bird watching and Happy Wild Bird Wednesday~

mick said...

Great photos of the kookaburras. I would love to see and photograph a blue-winged one - maybe someday!

Andrea said...

Hi, Stewart, I wanted to let you know that your WBW post didn't show up on my blog and the only reason I knew you had posted was that I came looking for it. I also had to join as a follower again, because I wasn't listed ... It may be that other's are having this problem. Not sure what needs to be done, but nothing can be done if you don't know about it. Just an FYI ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

bailey-road.com said...

Congratulations, Stewart, on the milestone and thank you for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday! The Kookaburra is pretty cute and the Blue-winged variety is beautiful.

Pat Tillett said...

Beautiful! I've never seen one with it's wings spread like that. Love the coloring. Thanks for the info, very interesting!

Karen said...

Oh wow Stewart! Fabulous shots of one of my fave birds. They are marvellous photos. As a child I was always singing "Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree". Being Canadian, I had never seen one for real, until as an adult I lived in Oz for a few years.

Happy 1st WBW anniversary. Thanks for hosting

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

The Kookaburra is a cute little bird. I love the blue wing and tail feathers.

Neil said...

Happy 1st Anniversary love the Kookaburra.

pattisjarrett said...

Wow, that blue one with spread wings leaves me beyond words. What a great photo of one beautiful bird! And a handsome lad, too. Congrats on a year!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Happy anniversary and thank you for hosting!

The kookaburras are cute birds.

Stuart Price said...

I saw both species when I was in FNQ many years ago.......a great bird to photograph! Shame I had no camera at the time...........

Rebecca said...

I don't think I ever thought about what a Kookaburra looked like when I sang the song... Beautiful bird!

Pieni Lintu said...

Beautiful!

Carole M. said...

great kooka photos Stewart; I almost did a kooka post this week too. Love those last two which certainly show up the blue so much; great pics of this wonderful icon to Australia

Terri said...

Awesome bird- congrats on your 1st yr anniversary for WBW!

Pete Shanley said...

Congratulations on the anniversary! I learn something every week!

Arija said...

I like your little screed on the nomenclature of the kookaburra. Congratulations on the first anniversary of this resurrected meme, I am so glad you took over from Sringman and did not allow it to become extinct.
I think the picture of your lad, though perhaps not photographically perfect, portrays a couple of things about both bird and boy. Primarily, the rust between bird and boy, not every boy would be so relaxed at a bird that size with rather handy claws, landing on his hand. Secondly, the Kookie actually doing that.
Nice to see the difference between the two types of kookaburras so well illustrated.

If you have the time, could you please check my ID of the Southern Whiteface???

Digi-Irma said...

Hi Stewart.
Great photos of the Kookaburra, this bird is not in Netherlands.
Congratulations on a year Wild Birds!
Greetings, Irma

Daniela Augustka Blah said...

Máš pravdu, tento vták mi naozaj pripomína nášho rybárika :-) Lenže rybárik je tak plachý vták, že obyčajnému amatérskemu fotografovi sa len málokedy podarí odfotiť ho. Ja som už mala šťastie vidieť rybárika v prírode viackrát, ale nemám ešte ani jednu dobrú fotku.
Pls, translate through google translator from slovakia language.
Daniela

~~~jennifer~~~ said...

Wow, I love those blue feathers! Congrats on the Anniversary!

Misty DawnS said...

Fantastic photos of such an awesome looking bird!!! Love this!

dancingaspensfarm said...

As a little girl we used to sing about Kookaburras. Would love to actually see one. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Chris Rohrer said...

"Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, Merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh Kookaburra laugh, Kookaburra gay your life must be":) Awesome bird with a great song!

Dave Lewis said...

Oh...I really need to visit Australia!
Your photos are wonderful as are the birds
Congrats on the first year with many more to come.
Dave

Faye said...

Congrats on the anniversary, Stewart. For one who has a new and increasing interest in birds, WBW is a great place to see and appreciate such a variety.

The kookaburra is beautifully marked and, you may not be aware, that brown and teal color is the very in thing for house decor and clothing. Such a funny "mohawk" too.

Darwin may have been on his high horse a bit here, but I do like his approach for solving problems: "step by step, method in all things".

Liz said...

Beautiful shots, Stewart!! I love Kookaburras.
Congratulations on surviving the first year of WBW & for hosting it! I know I speak for many in expressing my appreciation for taking up the job.

nic.b van es said...

Wat prachtig dit heb ik allemaal nog niet zo gauw bekeken maar ik kom terug ,geweldig wat ik hier zie.

Black Jack's Carol said...

I really hope that one day I will have the good fortune to see a Kookaburra in the wild, but in the mean time, these photographs are absolutely stellar! Thank you for doing such an awesome job of keeping this meme going!

edenhills said...

What a cool bird! Those are amazing pictures.

NatureFootstep said...

ouch, I thought I had commented on the lovely kookaburra. They look happy :)
Thansk for hosting. :)