Meet Kookey, our Laughing Kookaburra
If you ever thought your relatives were “kookey” then you haven’t met our Kookey, our Laughing Kookaburra Animal Ambassador! This special bird hatched at the San Diego Zoo on May 27th 2018. We are extremely fortunate to have her become one of our newest Animal Ambassadors, after a very thorough inspection from the Zoo. All jokes aside, she is full of life and is often quite the character! Her days consist of….play time, enrichment and training sessions with her trainer, bath time, and she enjoys closely watching the planes and birds overhead. Those sneaky “metal birds” sure are suspicious! :0)
Kooky’s species are Native to Eastern Australia and Western Australia. There is even a small population from down under in New Zealand! It may be a surprise, but the Laughing Kookaburra are considered as an introduced species in Tasmania and shockingly, they are considered vermin and not a protected species there.
Interesting fact: the first laughing Kookaburra specimen was collected from the wild in 1770 and was given its official scientific name in 1783. The first assigned scientific name was actually inaccurate, too! It wasn’t until the 1920’s that the Laughing Kookaburra was given it’s correct scientific name that stands today; that is about a whole whopping 150 years! Its scientific name is Dalcelo novaguinea.
Kookaburra are very flexible and have adapted to changes in their native habitat. They can live in dense or open woodlands, faming country, domestic gardens, and city parks. They prefer places without thick ground cover so they can hunt efficiently. The main objective for a habitat is to have a place to raise young via a naturally occurring tree hallow or an arboreal termite mound. It’s important to note, they may not be completely restricted by their habitat, but this species is strongly territorial all year round.
In Australia these birds get lots of notoriety. An example is that there’s a silver dollar coin is released each year has a Kookaburra on it. There are famous kookaburra characters on many household items in Australia. There’s even Kookaburra candy!