Laughing kookaburra in exhibit

Laughing Kookaburra

Scientific Name

Dacelo novaeguineae novaeguineae






Eastern Australia


Woodlands and forests

Estimated Wild Population

Laughing kookaburra in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN

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Physical Description

Laughing kookaburras have a white chest and head, dark brown wings, a brown back, brown stripes around their eyes, and a reddish-colored tail with black bars. They often kill their prey by grasping them with their beak and striking them against their perch. These birds live in territorial groups of three or more birds. Mature offspring feed and protect their siblings before moving on to nests of their own.

Interesting Fact 1

Laughing kookaburras feed on snakes, lizards, insects, and rodents—a diet that made it popular with Australian settlers.

Interesting Fact 2

They received their name—as well as their nickname, “bushman’s clock”—from their laughter-like call, which often comes at early dawn and dusk.

Interesting Fact 3

Only the dominant male and female breed in each territorial group, but the entire group helps rear their chicks.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

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