Dean M. Chriss
Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree, Dandenong Ranges National Park, Australia

"Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree"

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"Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree" is the first line of the popular Australian nursery rhyme "Kookaburra", written in 1934 by Marion Sinclair. Indeed, the immature laughing kookaburra in this image is sitting in a very old gum tree, otherwise known as a Eucalyptus. There are two types of kookaburra, the laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) and the smaller blue-winged kookaburra (Dacelo leachii). Laughing kookaburras grow to about 17 inches (43 cm) in height and are known for their absolutely unmistakable call, which is somewhat like loud, echoing, human laughter. Both kookaburra species are found in Australia, New Guinea, and the Aru Islands. Kookaburras are kingfishers, though they do not spend much of their time near water. They are carnivorous, eating lizards, snakes, insects, mice and other raw meat.

The kookaburra in this image was photographed in Dandenong Ranges National Park in Victoria, Australia.