Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 52 - Kookaburras

This is the 52nd WBW since I picked up the reins from Springman and changed the "World" to "Wild", just to make things feel a more mine!  A big thank you to everybody who has linked up and joined in.  At present we get between about 55 and 70 blog link up each week.   But plans are afoot to increase the number!!

So, given that its an anniversary I thought I'd go with a bit of a classic Australian bird - the Kookaburra.

Now most people probably know about - or have heard in old Tarzan movies - the Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaguineae) from books, films and tourist information.

There is a good story attached to the scientific name.  "Alcedo" is the genus name of a European  kingfisher as used by the father of all things binomial Linnaeus.  The sharp eyed may have spotted that Dacelo is an anagram of Alcedo.  In a 1842 report contributed to by no lesser a person than Charles Darwin the playing of such games in species names was described as "in very bad taste, and is especially calculated to bring the science into contempt".  (That must have been a fun group to be involved with)  ..... but wait there's more.  The specific name novaguineae was used because it was thought that the first specimens of this species were from New Guinea - which they were not!  They were from New South Wales!  So the whole name is a bit of a joke all in all!

So here are some pictures of the anagram bird from the wrong country!




The laughing kookaburra is found down the east coast of Australia - but is also common in a small part of Western Australia and Tasmania where they were introduced.

Many people may not be aware that there is another species of Kookaburra in Australia - the Blue Winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii).  This bird is name for its blue wings (!) and William Leach who described it.   The voice of this bird is described as "Appalling, a guttural 'klock, klock' developing into a cacophony of mechanical squawks and screeches" - and while this bird is not the most tuneful I listened to, this seems a bit harsh. 

The first two images are of a Blue Winged Kookaburra sat on a light pole at a restaurant on Magnetic Island - I have no idea why the bird has a golden beak! As you can see it was at night!



This next picture is not one of H's best - but it does show the blue wings and tail of this bird rather well - this was taken at a falconry display on Kangaroo Island.  


This bird (an occasionally this boy!) is found in Northern Australia - which is why is probably less well known than its Laughing cousin!

And that just about wraps up the One Year Anniversary Post for WBW.
Now its over to you!  Click on the link below and off you go. Don't forget to link back to here and to visit and invite along new bloggers.  SM


51 comments:

  1. Great pictures you show of a beautiful bird :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. An iconic bird! I did not realize that their plumage can have so much color.

    ReplyDelete
  3. An iconic bird! I did not realize that their plumage can have so much color.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy 1:st Anniversary to WBW and you Stewart!

    Love those bird photos! We don't have the bird here in Sweden, the land of Linneaus!
    Greetings Pia

    ReplyDelete
  5. One year already ,time is passing so fast .I love the bluewinged one ,my favorite colour ,Nette

    ReplyDelete
  6. OMW What beautiful images of the Kookaburras. They certainly are more colorful than I imagine, Stewart. I'm back from leave in South Africa and have linked my Bird post of humble photos to your meme. Have a great day. Greetings from Jo, East Africa.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congratulations Stewart!!! And thanks for hosting Wild Birds!!!

    Way back when...we used to sing the Kookabura song in Girl Scouts...one of our favorites!!! We even nicknamed one of our leaders that...and yet...I think this is the first time I've actually seen a pic of one!!!
    Thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy Anniversary for WBW Stewart Style!!!

    Love the Kookaburras!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great 1 year anniversary blog. My post for WBW is my 1 year blog anniversary too. From Findlay

    ReplyDelete
  10. His looks certainly aren't appalling. Happy Anniversary! I love hooking up with WBW now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Charles Darwin was so busy studying and describing new species maybe he just ran out of inventing relative names so used anagrams instead? Anyway, as you point out the kookaburra does look a little like Common Kingfisher, albeit a lot bigger and more vocal. Congrats on the anniversary - time flies when you're having fun. Intruiged about making WBW bigger - bring it on. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  12. They do look like Kingfishers, but the coloring is magnificent ... even the laughing Kookaburra has a touch of blue on his wing. Like the Chieftess, I also sang the Kookaburra song in the Girlscouts and now, thanks to this wonderful post, I will have that song humming away in my head all day. Brings back fine memories as well as an appreciation for this adorable bird.

    So glad, Stewart, that you took up the ball and ran with it on Wild Bird Wednesday(formerly World Bird Wednesday). I have learned a great deal from you and enjoy your wonderful pictures and commentary. I even enjoy your other blog which everyone should read. You have many levels of talent and I am happy to be privy to them through your blog.
    Congratulations on year one and here's to many more ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy anniversary. Thw Kookaburras do seem very appropriate to celebrate your first year in charge of this meme.

    ReplyDelete
  14. DOH - Forgot to say - great pics Stewart.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great close ups pf a beauty. Boom &Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love these birds even though I've only seen them in photos! I like the heavy bill and "hair do"! Congratulations on the first anniversary of your WBW!

    ReplyDelete
  17. such cool birds! such great expressions on them, too.

    congrats on 1 year of hosting, stewart! and thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. So I guess the Kookaburra had the last laugh! Smashing pics of both species.

    Congrats on your 1st Anniversary of Wild BW, Stewart.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Happy Anniversary! I appreciate you hosting WBW! It is fun and I love seeing everyone's wild bird. Your Kookaburra is wonderful. I did not know about the Blue Winged kookaburra, it is a beauty. Great shots!

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Blue Winged one is a real stunner!! What a wonderful color. I have only seen one here in a bird center. It made the strangest sound. Happy Anniversary. Sure glad you continued on with the birds here.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you so much for giving us the pleasure of your hosting company this past year Stewart...you are delightful. I wish you and all of us a very wonderful year coming up as well. Aah the Kookaburras...love them, but alas, I must see them in cages at the Louisville Zoological Gardens and even in those cages, the wiring is so tight, you can never get a good look-see, let alone a nice image. Maybe when I go next week, I will try and see them again. Your images are all really wonderful. The species that you have shown are both remarkable. Happy week, Happy bird watching and Happy Wild Bird Wednesday~

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great photos of the kookaburras. I would love to see and photograph a blue-winged one - maybe someday!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi, Stewart, I wanted to let you know that your WBW post didn't show up on my blog and the only reason I knew you had posted was that I came looking for it. I also had to join as a follower again, because I wasn't listed ... It may be that other's are having this problem. Not sure what needs to be done, but nothing can be done if you don't know about it. Just an FYI ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

    ReplyDelete
  24. Congratulations, Stewart, on the milestone and thank you for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday! The Kookaburra is pretty cute and the Blue-winged variety is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beautiful! I've never seen one with it's wings spread like that. Love the coloring. Thanks for the info, very interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh wow Stewart! Fabulous shots of one of my fave birds. They are marvellous photos. As a child I was always singing "Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree". Being Canadian, I had never seen one for real, until as an adult I lived in Oz for a few years.

    Happy 1st WBW anniversary. Thanks for hosting

    ReplyDelete
  27. The Kookaburra is a cute little bird. I love the blue wing and tail feathers.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Happy 1st Anniversary love the Kookaburra.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow, that blue one with spread wings leaves me beyond words. What a great photo of one beautiful bird! And a handsome lad, too. Congrats on a year!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy anniversary and thank you for hosting!

    The kookaburras are cute birds.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I saw both species when I was in FNQ many years ago.......a great bird to photograph! Shame I had no camera at the time...........

    ReplyDelete
  32. I don't think I ever thought about what a Kookaburra looked like when I sang the song... Beautiful bird!

    ReplyDelete
  33. great kooka photos Stewart; I almost did a kooka post this week too. Love those last two which certainly show up the blue so much; great pics of this wonderful icon to Australia

    ReplyDelete
  34. Awesome bird- congrats on your 1st yr anniversary for WBW!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Congratulations on the anniversary! I learn something every week!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I like your little screed on the nomenclature of the kookaburra. Congratulations on the first anniversary of this resurrected meme, I am so glad you took over from Sringman and did not allow it to become extinct.
    I think the picture of your lad, though perhaps not photographically perfect, portrays a couple of things about both bird and boy. Primarily, the rust between bird and boy, not every boy would be so relaxed at a bird that size with rather handy claws, landing on his hand. Secondly, the Kookie actually doing that.
    Nice to see the difference between the two types of kookaburras so well illustrated.

    If you have the time, could you please check my ID of the Southern Whiteface???

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Stewart.
    Great photos of the Kookaburra, this bird is not in Netherlands.
    Congratulations on a year Wild Birds!
    Greetings, Irma

    ReplyDelete
  38. Máš pravdu, tento vták mi naozaj pripomína nášho rybárika :-) Lenže rybárik je tak plachý vták, že obyčajnému amatérskemu fotografovi sa len málokedy podarí odfotiť ho. Ja som už mala šťastie vidieť rybárika v prírode viackrát, ale nemám ešte ani jednu dobrú fotku.
    Pls, translate through google translator from slovakia language.
    Daniela

    ReplyDelete
  39. Wow, I love those blue feathers! Congrats on the Anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Fantastic photos of such an awesome looking bird!!! Love this!

    ReplyDelete
  41. As a little girl we used to sing about Kookaburras. Would love to actually see one. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    ReplyDelete
  42. "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, Merry merry king of the bush is he.
    Laugh Kookaburra laugh, Kookaburra gay your life must be":) Awesome bird with a great song!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh...I really need to visit Australia!
    Your photos are wonderful as are the birds
    Congrats on the first year with many more to come.
    Dave

    ReplyDelete
  44. Congrats on the anniversary, Stewart. For one who has a new and increasing interest in birds, WBW is a great place to see and appreciate such a variety.

    The kookaburra is beautifully marked and, you may not be aware, that brown and teal color is the very in thing for house decor and clothing. Such a funny "mohawk" too.

    Darwin may have been on his high horse a bit here, but I do like his approach for solving problems: "step by step, method in all things".

    ReplyDelete
  45. Beautiful shots, Stewart!! I love Kookaburras.
    Congratulations on surviving the first year of WBW & for hosting it! I know I speak for many in expressing my appreciation for taking up the job.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wat prachtig dit heb ik allemaal nog niet zo gauw bekeken maar ik kom terug ,geweldig wat ik hier zie.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I really hope that one day I will have the good fortune to see a Kookaburra in the wild, but in the mean time, these photographs are absolutely stellar! Thank you for doing such an awesome job of keeping this meme going!

    ReplyDelete
  48. What a cool bird! Those are amazing pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  49. ouch, I thought I had commented on the lovely kookaburra. They look happy :)
    Thansk for hosting. :)

    ReplyDelete