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Laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae)

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Self-satisfied smiles?

What could be more iconically Australian than the kookaburra? They've featured on picture postcards, souvenir tea towels and tin trays, and no calendar showing Australian birds is complete without them.

Kookaburras finding food left out for them will return on a regular basis, and many people enjoy watching "their" kookaburras perched in a nearby tree waiting for the morning offering. A friend stopped feeding them, though, when she found out that they also enjoy the nestlings of other birds.

Feeding wild birds regularly isn't as good for them as it is for us. Coming to expect a daily hand-out, many birds become dependent, give up foraging, and are therefore vulnerable to starvation if the feeder moves house.