Species: Dacelo novaeguineae
Common names: Laughing Kookaburra
This is one species of bird that is absolutely thriving in the reserve. Last year I think three pairs (two certainly) nested successfully in the reserve. They build their nests in hollowed out termite mounds on the side of trees. I’ve noticed that the two pairs that nested in trees just below the picnic ground are already checking out their old nests. The pair that last year nested in the more easterly termite nest successfully raised three chicks. The three, now fully grown, continue to visit our house for a free meal. I’m wondering if we might start to see territorial disputes as their population increases. A few weeks ago I did see a pair of Kookaburras engaged in a beak wrestle on the ground. One thing we do have in the reserve is an abundance of termite nests on the trees that can be used as nest sites.
The mud termite mounds on the sides of many of the larger trees continue to be well used by both kookaburras and sacred kingfishers for nesting. The photo shows a pair of kookaburra chicks in one of these nests.
The Kookaburras have successfully raised three chicks from the nest featured in my November notes. Having three almost fully grown birds in that little nest must have been really squeezy. The Kookaburra chicks from the nest that is about 50 metres closer to the picnic ground have also left, but I don’t know how many chicks there were in that one.
The Kookaburra is very common in the reserve and right now they all seem to be nesting. Their preferred nesting sites in the reserve are the large muddy nests that termites have built on the sides of trees. This nest is just below the picnic ground and the young kookaburra chick/s in the termite mound can be heard calling almost incessantly. Almost every large termite nest seems to have been used by either Kookaburras or Sacred Kingfishers as a nesting site. It is easy to determine which of these two birds has used it by the size of the entrance hole.