Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers of the genus Dacelo native to Australia and New Guinea, which grow to between 28–42 cm in length. The name is a loanword from Wiradjuri guuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. The loud distinctive call of the Laughing Kookaburra is widely used as a stock sound effect in situations that involve an Australian bush setting. They are found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, as well as in suburban areas with tall trees or near running water. Even though they belong to the larger group known as "kingfishers", kookaburras are not closely associated with water.
The genus Dacelo was introduced by the English zoologist William Elford Leach in 1815. The name Dacelo is an anagram of Alcedo, the Latin word for a kingfisher. The laughing kookaburras shown here are Dacelo novaeguineae (native to eastern Australia, introduced to southwest). The female is feeding the juvenile a little lizard. Kookaburras are almost exclusively carnivorous, eating mice, snakes, insects, small reptiles, and the young of other birds; they have also been known to take goldfish from garden ponds. In zoos they are usually fed food for birds of prey.
This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.