CHADDER – LAUGHING KOOKABURRA
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Hatch Year: 2006
Arrival to WBS: 2008
Reason for Residence: hatched in captivity
Chadder was hatched at the Milwaukee County Zoo and was given to their avian show team for training. Originally when Chadder was hatched it was believed that she was a male, and was given the name Chad. She was later DNA sexed and we discovered Chad was actually a Chadder! Thus her unique spelling of her name. After a year or so they realized that Chadder wasn’t going to be a good fit for the shows at the zoo, and they contacted World Bird Sanctuary to see if we would like to acquire her for education and exhibit. We happily accepted, and Chadder came to live at World Bird Sanctuary.
For several years she worked long and hard with trainers to improve her confidence and focus in the hopes she would later be able to participate in our education programs or zoo shows. However, it was simply not to be. While her confidence and comfort around guests improved drastically, she was never confident enough to participate in any educational programming. Chadder then moved over to an enclosure in view of the public where guests are able to hear her make the distinctive call that Kookaburras are known for, most often in the mornings and late afternoons.
SPECIES: LAUGHING KOOKABURRA
CONSERVATION STATUS: LEAST CONCERN
They have adapted well to human development and often inhabit suburban areas, which provide both food and shelter.
Scientific Name: Dacelo novaeguineae
Description: largest member of the Kingfisher family; has dark brown wing plumage and a white head and underside. Dark brown eye stripes run across its face and its upper bill is black. Its reddish-colored tail is patterned with black bars.
Sex: both sexes look similar, females slightly larger
Age: up to 15 years in the wild
Weight: 13-16 oz.
Habitat: humid forest to arid savanna; also suburban and residential areas near running water
Range: Australia, New Guinea and the Aru Islands
Behavior: monogamous, territorial birds that nest in tree holes; known to seize snakes behind the head and and drops them from a great height, or carries them to a perch and batters them senseless with it’s big bill; generally live in pairs or small groups; incubate 2-4 pure white eggs in hollow tree trunks
Diet: Its beak can reach 4 inches long and is used to snatch a variety of invertebrates and small vertebrates, including the occasional small snake. Since being introduced in western Australia and New Zealand, the kookaburra has angered farmers by preying on their fowl.
Vocalization: call sounds like hysterical human laughter; most often heard as they go to roost at dusk, and again in the morning as dawn breaks; call is well known because of it’s use in “jungle” movies.
– Its early dawn and dusk cackling chorus earned it the nickname “bushman’s clock.”
– When Kookaburras hunt they swoop down and grab their prey items in their beak and quickly find a place to land. Then, using their beak, they will slam their prey item against the rock or branch they are perched on to kill it.