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Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

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Perching kookaburra

Perching kookaburra

Oh, that beak! Kookaburras live on, in summary, anything that's animal and smaller than they are. We like to think of kookaburras as killers of snakes, and they are that, but they also take lizards, chickens (I mean baby chooks, little and fluffy), nestling birds and goldfish.

An open fish pond is a festive table for a kookaburra, especially if there's a handy perching branch way above it. You'll see the kookaburra sitting perfectly still, looking down, for minutes and minutes, then suddenly he swoops straight down and comes back to his perch with a wriggling orange body in his beak. One fellow cleared my friend's pond of a hundred small goldfish in a few weeks.