Thursday, March 19, 2015

Laughing Kookaburra

As the batsmen of the 2015 ICC world-cup are facing the Kookaburra balls, I had the delight to face the real Kookaburra- the Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae ).
The Kookaburra belongs to the Kingfisher family and is the worlds biggest Kingfisher. Its call, which it makes to mark its territory sounded like a laughter to whoever named it- well not to me though. They hunt like kingfishers and eat a variety of prey, including fish, small snakes, lizards, rodents, worms, beetles and other insects. It is a pretty common bird in Australia, found both around human settlements and forests. The kookaburra is one classical example of a bird, which is severely affected by the pesticides used in farming.  The pesticides used to kill insects, end up poisoning the animals which usually feed on those pests. When kookaburras eat contaminated insects, they absorb the pesticide chemicals and store them in their fat. When food is in short supply and the kookaburras use some of their fat store, high concentrations of chemicals may flow into the blood. The result can be reproductive losses or even death.
I had a very wonderful evening with this lovely bird- I even managed to sip a cup of tea, watching the Kookaburra bully other birds that were trying to hunt alongside it. A wonderful bird indeed!