The Kookaburra

22 Oct

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be!

The kookaburra is a uniquely Australian bird found sitting in gum trees,  a name for the eucalyptus tree, in western and eastern Australia and even in Tasmania.

A type of kingfisher, kookaburras are also known as the Laughing Jackass (like the penguins we saw in South Africa) and the Bushman’s Clock. This appellation comes from their tendency to laugh from the tops of trees at dusk and in the early morning.

Want to hear a kookaburra laugh? It is an unmistakable call sounding  uncannily like loud, echoing human laughter – good-natured and hearty, but rather hysterical.

5 Responses to “The Kookaburra”

  1. Ursula Freer October 23, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Sounds a lot like a chimp laughing.

    • Jill October 23, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      One of the things I love about it is it sounds like,”ha. ha. ha.” Makes me laugh.

  2. obie October 23, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    I don’t know about you but i think it could be irratating to wake up to some laughing jackass! 😉

  3. Maryl October 23, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    I wonder if the Australians sing the Kookaburra song around the campfire like we used to do when we were kids. Thanks for including the photo of one which I had never seen before. I also enjoyed the youtube link of the laughing sound made by kookaburra. Made me laugh as well. Do you hear them around where you are living?

    • Jill October 23, 2012 at 3:22 am #

      Hi Maryl: I don’t know where I learned the Kookaburra song but I was so thrilled to see one. That is Dana’s photo…so cute. He landed on the railing of the dance club when we went to the malengue. We don’t hear the kookaburra at our house. No surprise we have no gum trees, young or old.

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