Laughing kookaburras are known as the “bushman’s alarm clock” because family groups vocalize at dawn and dusk. The call sounds like a variety of trills, chortles, belly laughs, and hoots. It starts and ends with a low chuckle and has a shrieking “laugh” in the middle. The song is a way the birds declare their territory.
Laughing kookaburras live in woodlands in Australia, where they keep the same territory year round, perching in large trees and nesting in cavities of tree trunks and branches. Even though they are kingfishers, they eat more insects, reptiles, frogs, and rodents than fish. They are famous for eating snakes, killing a snake up to three feet long by grabbing it behind the head and smacking it on the ground. The food is swallowed head first and whole. The parent birds often give small snakes to their chicks so they can learn how to kill prey.