|Laughing Kookaburra at Queen's Park|
A quick scout around and I soon located the source of the call, sitting - yes, you guessed it - in a gum tree. The cache unfortunately was nowhere near as easily located.
The kookaburra (more correctly, the Laughing Kookaburra) is a larger member of the kingfisher family. It is quite distinctive in both voice and appearance and therefore not easily confused with other birds, except with the Blue-winged Kookaburra which is found in the north of the country.
The word kookaburra is believed to have come from the Aboriginal word guuguuburra used by the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales. It is considered onomatopoeic, meaning the word mimics the sound of the bird's call which is not actually a "laugh" but usually a territorial warning to other birds to stay away. Family groups will often "sing" together in a chorus.
|Laughing Kookaburra on the Barwon River|
Kookaburras I discover, can be rather brutal in dispensing with their larger prey, beating the happless animals to death against a conveniently located firm object such as the ground or a tree branch.
I don't know how long it stayed in the tree, but there was no sign of my new feathered friend the following day at which point I did eventually find what I was looking for.