Backyard Buddies
Laughing Kookaburra

Photo: FNPW Image Library

Laughing Kookaburra

Go Back

The Laughing Kookaburra is one of the most well-loved birds of our suburbs, often seen on fences, trees and rooftops. Laughing Kookaburras are easily recognized by their 'Koo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-haa-haa-haa-haa' call which sounds like a cackling laugh.

There are two kinds of Kookaburras in Australia, the Laughing Kookaburra and the Blue Winged Kookaburra, which has a distinctive silver-blue line on its wings.

Laughing Kookaburras live in eastern Australia, Tasmania and the south-west of Western Australia wherever there are suitable trees.

Kookaburras often stay with their families for several years. You may see a family around your area or backyard with six or more Kookaburras. They mate for life and build their nests in a tree hollow or in a burrow excavated from a termite mound. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the chicks.

You might see a Kookaburra as it swoops on the leaf litter of your garden in search of skinks, lizards and insects to eat. They feed mostly on insects, worms and crustaceans, and sometimes on small snakes, mammals, frogs and birds. Small prey is eaten whole, but larger prey is killed by bashing it against the ground or tree branch.

Be a Backyard Buddy

Having a large range of native shrubs and trees in your backyard gives Kookaburras plenty of sticks and leaves to build a nest with.

Having local native plants in your garden will also attract insects such as bees and stick insects,
which provide a tasty treat for Kookaburras.

Kookaburras love:

But they don't like:

Try to:


Don't be surprised if Laughing Kookaburras:

A few more Laughing Kookaburra facts

Related Factsheets:

Black & White Birds

What bird is that? Many birds look similar and can be hard to tell apart from a distance. Black and white birds are some of the most commonly seen in our backyards. Pied Butcherbird The Pied Butcherbird has a beautiful, musical call that sounds like loud, clear notes from a flute. T..


Eastern Koel

The Eastern Koel is a common buddy in many backyards in cities and towns across eastern and northern Australia. Traditionally inhabiting woodlands and rainforests, they're also comfortable in urban places, particularly where there are tall trees to hide in and lots of fruiting plants. K..



Laughing Kookaburras have a complex social structure and communicate with a wide variety of sounds. Their distinctive “laugh” is actually warning other kookaburras to stay out of their territory. To let other kookaburras know where their home territory is, a family group will laugh througho..


Masked Lapwing (Plover)

Masked Lapwings are a common visitor to grassy and wet areas of our cities and towns. They love to nest on the ground in parks, school ovals, golf courses, sports fields, and pastures. Masked Lapwings breed after wet weather, in summer and autumn in northern Australia and during winter t..


Noisy Miner

The Noisy Miner is a common buddy in many backyards in cities and towns across eastern Australia. Their noisy call can be a nuisance but there are lots of ways to manage them and enjoy their helpful behaviours. Traditionally inhabiting open woodlands, they're also comfortable in urban places..


Pied Currawong

Growing up to 51 cm, Pied Currawongs are impossible to miss. Their jet black feathers are a striking contrast to their bright yellow eyes. Pied Currawongs also have splotches of white on their tail, undertail and wing tips, which are revealed when they fly. These birds have a cheeky stre..


Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow lorikeets tend to roost in large groups and can be seen just on dusk arriving by the hundreds at their favourite roosting place, usually in tall eucalypts. These colourful birds can be seen almost anywhere along the east coast of Australia. Their behaviour is quite comical at times, ..



”We can’t lose our natural wonders, unique wildlife or beautiful landscapes - that’s why I support FNPW“

Larry - FNPW Supporter, VIC

Photo: OEH