a comprehensive resource of avian hand rearing techniques for captive bird populations

Laughing Kookaburra

Dacelo novaeguineae

Coraciiformes - Alcedinidae - Kingfishers

Laughing Kookaburra - Juvenile

© Tim Waddington

Laughing Kookaburra - JuvenileLaughing Kookaburra - Chick

Distribution: East Australia, from S Cape York Peninsula S to Flinders Range and New South Wales. Introduced to Tasmania and New Zealand.

Habitat: Eucalypt forest and woodland, also cleared farmland, city parks and gardens.

Diet: Invertebrates, fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, bird nestlings and small mammals.

Breeding: Pairs for life, often accompanied by 4-5 offspring. Nest in hollows in trees, occassionally digs hole in bank or cliff.

Clutch size: 1 - 5 eggs

Incubation: 24 - 29 days

Rearing: All group members feed, brood & defend chicks.

Fledge age: 32 - 40 days


Protocol from Lotherton Bird Garden

View Lotherton Bird Garden protocol file >

Protocol established 2006
Used on 1 individuals
Success rate 100.00%


Protocol used for at least 5 individuals with over 75% success 
Used by 2 or more institutions 
Points on minimizing imprinting 
Birds went on to produce fertile eggs 
Birds went on to successfully parent rear 

Warning points

Please keep us up-to-date and contact us with your own updates or new protocols for rearing the Laughing Kookaburra.


Handbook Of The Birds Of The World. Vol 6. Mousebirds to Hornbills, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona

The breeding and hand-rearing of kookaburras at the Fort Worth Zoo. JOANNA L. SMITH. International Zoo Yearbook. Vol 16. Pages 185 - 187

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