Laugh Your Merry Laughter

Kookaburras by the Bay
Kookaburras by the Bay

The Kookaburra is a much-loved Australian bird, their visits always welcomed by all, their laughter copied by children from an early age. Their arrival at our beach camp and school by the sea invariably brings happiness and joy, as older folk fumble about for their cameras.

Just hold that pose, Kooka
Just hold that pose, Kooka

As the weather cools, especially if rain is predicted, their visits become more frequent. On wet days, they man each fence post surrounding our vegetable garden back at home, like sentries on duty, waiting for worms to emerge from the mud. Their call is often a seasonal indicator.

a shot of blue
A shot of blue

The name comes from Wiradjuri language, guuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. One can imagine the alarm and perhaps fear experienced by the early imperialists of Australia on hearing for the first time, the cacophonous laughter of the kookaburra, a bird call so exotic and alien to their English consciousness.

Two kookas in a row.
Two kookas in a row.

They are my favourite bird, not so much for their call but for their cute haircut, hints of blue feathering, and hunting knowledge, seen in their alert eyes.

Searching for worms
Searching for worms, a kookaburra comes a little closer.

 

30 thoughts on “Laugh Your Merry Laughter”

  1. So nice to be back in Australia where I might have a chance of seeing and hearing a Kookaburra. Very nice photos Francesca. Photographing birds is one of the few times I wish I had a camera with a telephoto lens…but then I would just never get anything done except photographing birds or other animals.

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  2. They are another example of proving nature is a wonderful thing. I have heard that if you hear their cacophony at sunrise 3 mornings in a row, rain is guaranteed to be imminent. Haven’t tested that little gem but I like the sound of it 🙂

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        1. At Taylors Arm the pre-daylight kooka chorus is a daily event 🙂 Local lore is however many black cockatoos you see is how many days of rain. Given the flock has increased to up to 14… We’re getting some rain, just enough to top up the tanks & keep the garden greenish.

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    1. That line is from an ancient song- one that predates the popular one most people know. The line starts with ” Kook, kook, kook kook, laugh your merry laughter, laugh your merry laughter ka, ka koo, koo,ka etc… Sitting in a gum tree, laughing at me.

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  3. Amazing photos. You’ve captured the kookas beautifully. We have a few groups in the village – sometimes the vocal boundary marking is raucous, a family of 4 that hang around between ours and the neighbours. We’ve named this years baby Beatnik because of that cute haircut. The others go off, he hangs out and follows us around the yard.

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