Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 120 - Laughing Kookaburra

After last week's Magpies, this is another iconic Australian bird - the Laughing Kookaburra - or as it is called in my part of the world, just Kookaburra!  There is another species of Kookaburra further north from us, but I'd have to travel a very long way to see them!

I'm a few days into a hectic week, so I just tell you that this is the largest kingfisher in the world!

Also, I can't resist a good tale of taxonomy, busy or not.  The Laughing Kookaburra goes by the name of Dacelo novaeguineae.  The genus name is an anagram of the genus of the Kingfisher found in the UK - and the first specimen of this species was thought to have come from New Guinea.  In fact it came from what is now New South Wales in Australia.  So, the name is a combination of a private joke and a mistake!

In one of these pictures you can see the nictitating membrane, a thin membrane that is drawn over the eye to help keep it moist.






Now (as ever) its your turn to link up with WBW.  Click on the blue button below and off you go.

(For some reason, word verification may show up when some of you try to comment - this issue has started recently and may be to do with the security setting in some peoples internet browsers - I can assure you that the function is turned off at my end.  SM)


53 comments:

Jesus Tirado said...

Awesome shots!

TexWisGirl said...

awesome bird and awesome photos! love the fence percher!

Adam Jones said...

Brilliant shots Stewart. What a cracking bird. I've only seen one in captivity, here in Cheshire. I guess that's the best I'll be able to do until I board a plane and head to Oz.

EG CameraGirl said...

Handsome fellow! I love the sound of the word Kookaburra. Makes me laugh. :))

Karen said...

Superb captures Stewart! One of my favourite Aussie birds.

Chris Rohrer said...

I can't wait to see these birds. Nice close ups and they remind me of Kingfishers...except maybe a little bit more ready for a pose:)

NatureFootstep said...

I thought this bird was rare in your country. But I saw it almost every I was there.

Sylvia K said...

Oh, I do agree with EG, handsome he is and I do love the name!! I've never seen one before and what a beauty he is!! Thanks so much for sharing, Stewart!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Beautiful bird

Great shots

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Fabulous photos of a bird I'd like to photograph...but never will.

Revrunner said...

Great looking bird!

Hannah said...

Great shots of the Kookaburra, it would be fun to see them and the other kingfishers, it seems there are 9 in Oz, I just looked them up. I used to see them at the San Diego Zoo. Thanks for the info about their name, that is so funny. Those zoologists must have had fun. I know some of my flowers were named after someone's girlfriend, Melissa, Prunella. I have seen the one that lives up here a few times from a distance.

Sharon Wagner said...

I love the fence shot. You really got some nice ones. He's so cute. I just illustrated him for the laughing Kookaburra nursery rhyme.

Andrea Priebe said...

He definately looks like an overstuffed Kingfisher ... beautiful in his onw way and I do believe I detect a smirk on his face as he sits over the Serenity sign ... which he is anything but :) Leave it to you to capture a visual oxymoron :) Have a great week, Stewart ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

bailey-road.com said...

These are great shots of that beautiful bird, Stewart!

Margaret Adamson said...

Great shots of this bird and I am laughing at the last shot with the word 'serenity' as that would not be the case when this bird is calling!! I can imitate this bird!!!

Janet Shaw said...

Great Photos!

Jo said...

I saw the nictating membrane in the fourth photo. What stunning pictures of such a beautiful bird. It's very much like our Kingfisher, particularly the Striped Kingfisher. Thanks for hosting this wonderful meme. I'll link up tomorrow (Wednesday) Greetings Jo, Tanzania

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

That last image is especially delightful. The bird seems to reflect the theme. No movie about Australia would be complete without the call of the Kookaburra!

Marie said...

It's such an awesome bird! Great photos! Serenity as long as he does make his distinctive call! :-)

Bethany Carson said...

Marvellous shots of the kingfisher! What a handsome bird!

Phil Slade said...

You surprised me there Stewart as I saw Giant Kingfisher in Gambia and thought them to be pretty big! Now Kookaburra is bigger and I am really impressed.

Great pictures there of course.

jeannettestgermain said...

Pretty little bird - love the blue on his wings.

Findlay Wilde said...

They are great pictures. It looks like a real solid, chunky bird, but I bet it is really agile.

mick said...

Kookaburras are always beautiful and your photos are great!

karen said...

I was always fascinated by this bird as a child as my older brother would test me on birds! He was a bird fan then. It has stuck with me over the yrs. lol x

Christian Weiß said...

I know them only from the zoo, but they are really fascinating birds, great photos and capture.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I didn't know that this bird was a member of the Kingfisher family. It is such a beautiful bird. You have so many good ones!

eileeninmd said...

This is one bird I would love to see in the wild. Awesome photos, Stewart.. Thanks for hosting..enjoy your week!

Brian King said...

I've always thought these were fantastic looking birds! Love the bill! Your photos are beautiful!

Mariusz from Nowy Sacz said...

Steward, oszukujesz. ;)
:)))

Jen said...

I'd probably make the drive to see the other one. My field guide should have come with a warning that birding can be addictive. It's more expensive than my poker habit.

Indrani said...

We don't get to see this here.
Great pics.

Gail Dixon said...

That is a beautiful bird! Love how he is perched on the Serenity sign. Thank you for hosting WBW!

Linda said...

Neat bird!

I'm not seeing word verification, by the way.

pattisjarrett said...

What a cutie! It did perch nicely to adorn the sign.

jezikalt said...

So cute, I hope he sung for you. They remind me of kingfishers, especially after tying to photograph them this weekend.

Mary Cromer said...

Magnificent beauties Stewart and the sign the one is perched on, is quite cute too. We have a species of Kookaburras at our Louisville Zoological Gardens but not sure which one.

Barbara/myth maker said...

A very unusual bird... thank you for introducing him to me.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Fabulous shots! I googled the kookaburra a while back to listen to him and my family looked at me like I'd lost my marbles.

Christian Perrin said...

Lovely shots, especially the first with that green 'bokeh' through the background.

Had no idea that was the story behind 'Dacelo'!

Mary Hone said...

What a neat looking bird. The kingfisher looks very similar.

A Quiet Corner said...

Stewart, are they related to the Kingfisher? Their shape resembles them...:)JP

Janice Adcock said...

Great captures! It is fun just saying the common name of this bird! Namaste!

BumbleVee said...

Well, I always think they do look like they are smiling .... a wonderful thing to look at any day....

4ncü Ev said...

What a beautiful kingfisher! Photographing a kingfisher in Istanbul (it is very rare due to urbanisation and pollution of the waters) is one of my dreams. Have a wonderful week!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Looks a lot like our American Kingfisher as well!!!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Awesome!!!.. Well-done.. :-)))

Adam Tilt said...

Great taxonomy tale Stewart. Never knew that.

Felicia said...

he is so beautiful.

Liz said...

Fabulous images, Stewart! I love Kookaburras!!

Seraphina´s Phantasie said...

Hi Stewart,
marvelous photos of this little beautiful bird. Amazing !
Have a nice weekend. Best regards, Synnöve

Pat Tillett said...

I don't see him laughing, but he is a handsome looking character. Great photos Stewart...