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Blue-winged Kookaburra

 
Introduction:

Blue-winged Kookaburra family groups are often larger than those of the Laughing Kookaburra, with up to 12 members.

Identification:

The Blue-winged Kookaburra is a large kingfisher with a big square head and a long bill. It has a distinctive pale eye. The head is off-white with brown streaks, the shoulders are sky blue and it has a uniform blue rump.The throat is plain white and the underparts are white with faint scalloped orange-brown bars.The back is mid brown. Males have a dark blue tail while females' tails are barred red-brown or blackish. Otherwise the sexes are similar. The legs and feet are grey and the bill is dark above and yellowish below. Juveniles have paler streaks on the head with darker mottlings. There is slight geographical variation with plumage more buff in north-western Australia (race clifoni). As they are shy and often quiet in the foliage they may be overlooked.

Size:

38 cm to 42 cm

Similar Species:

Laughing Kookaburra

Distribution:

The Blue-winged Kookaburra is found in coastal and subcoastal areas in northwest and northeast Australia,Torres Strait and Southern New Guinea. It is widespread in the Gulf Country of Queensland extending South to about Toowoomba. It is also widespread in the top end of NorthernTerritory. It is absent from the Eighty Mile beach area in Western Australia separating the Pilbara population.

Habitat:

Blue-winged Kookaburras are found in tropical and subtropical open woodlands, paperbark swamps, timber on watercourses, clearings, canefields and farmlands.

Feeding and Diet:

Blue-winged Kookaburras eat a wide range of invertebrates and vertebrates. They consume mainly insects, reptiles and frogs in the wetter months, and fish, crayfish, scorpions, spiders, snakes, earthworms and small birds and mammals at other times. After a controlled dive with their bill open, food is grabbed from the ground. The bill has a special groove near the end of the upper mandible which helps in holding prey. After returning to a perch, the prey is beaten and then swallowed. They show extra care when snakes are the prey. Pellets of undigested items are regurgitated and found beneath daytime perches, roosting sites and nests.

Communication:

Loud maniacal screeching cackle developing into loud trills and then ending abruptly. Also a variety of trills,
'ow' notes, barks and hoarse screeches. Often call in groups from a high perch.

Breeding Behaviours:

The nest site of the Blue-winged Kookaburra is mostly high (to about 25 m) up in natural tree hollows, sometimes in tree termite nests, or in a hole cut into the soft wood of a baobab tree. Typically, the floor of the chamber is lower than the entrance, with an overall length of 50 cm. The breeding pair share the incubation of the eggs and subsequent feeding, which extends for one to two months, and are often assisted by auxiliaries (helpers), mainly from the previous year's clutch.
Breeding season: September to January
Clutch size: Two to five, usually three
Incubation: 26 days
Time in nest: 36 days

Conservation Status:

Blue-winged Kookaburras have suffered from loss of habitat resulting from land clearing, and are often killed on roads.
Related Objects:

Related Objects


(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.36275 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Coen , (13 56' S , 143 11' E), 30 Sep 1921

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.36276 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Lockerbie, Cape York Peninsula , (10 47' S , 142 28' E), 2 Nov 1910

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.38979 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, , (15 11' S , 127 51' E), 5 Jun 1952

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.39063 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Port Keats , (14 6' S , 129 33' E), 23 Jun 1952
O.47963 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Home Hill , (19 38' S , 147 24' E), 8 Sep 1976

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.32542 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Inglewood , (28 24' S , 151 4' E),
O.48606 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Cooktown , (15 29' S , 145 15' E), 13 Oct 1910

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.36274 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Coen , (13 56' S , 143 11' E), 4 Nov 1921

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.36273 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Reserve, Sandy Ck, Mackay , (21 8' S , 149 11' E), 24 Nov 1911

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.34938 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, King R , (11 22' S , 132 7' E), 7 Nov 1915

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.34273 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Duaringa , (23 42' S , 149 40' E), 12 Oct 1901

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.3356 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Herberton Area , (17 22' S , 145 23' E),

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.3355 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Herberton Area , (17 22' S , 145 23' E),
O.51424 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Lockerbie, Cape York Peninsula , (10 47' S , 142 28' E), 8 Oct 1910

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.32752 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Groote Eylandt , (13 56' S , 136 36' E),
O.64007 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Cooktown , (15 29' S , 145 15' E), 18 Oct 1896

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.3354 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Herberton Area , (17 22' S , 145 23' E),

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.28874 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Double Is: Beech Forest , (16 44' S , 145 11' E), 16 Oct 1912
O.70235 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Cape York Peninsula , (10 45' S , 142 35' E),
O.70168 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Atherton Tableland: Yungaburra Area , (17 15' S , 145 35' E), 1998
O.68586 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Townsville , (19 15' S , 146 48' E), Nov 1890
O.67079 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Bambaroo, S Of Ingham , (18 52' S , 146 12' E), 27 Oct 1995
O.65797 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Musselbrook: 4 Km Ne Of Camp , (18 33' 53" S , 138 8' 18" E), 29 May 1995
O.62718 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Nelly Bay , (19 9' S , 146 51' E), 5 Nov 1984
O.51434 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Bakers Ck, Mackay , (21 11' S , 149 6' E), 25 Oct 1908
O.64005 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Borroloola, Macarthur R , (16 4' S , 136 18' E), 25 Nov 1913
O.62187 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Western Australia, Mt Hart Station: 3Km S Bell Gorge , (16 58' S , 125 9' E), 16 Sep 1990
O.62186 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Western Australia, Mt Hart Station: 3Km S Bell Gorge , (16 58' S , 125 9' E), 15 Sep 1990
O.57979 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Branch Ck, Mackay , (20 25' S , 148 43' E), 21 Dec 1914
O.54945 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Dawson R , (23 50' S , 149 48' E), 1882
O.54315 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Cape York Peninsula , (10 45' S , 142 35' E),
O.52918 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Townsville , (19 15' S , 146 48' E), 26 Oct 1899
O.64803 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Kuttabul , (21 2' S , 148 54' E), 7 Oct 1993
A.2948 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Cape York Peninsula , (10 45' S , 142 35' E),
A.4599 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Port Darwin , (12 27' S , 130 48' E),
A.4598 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Port Darwin , (12 27' S , 130 48' E),
A.4597 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Port Essington , (11 16' S , 132 9' E),
A.4596 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Port Essington , (11 16' S , 132 9' E), Feb 1879
A.4595 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Port Essington , (11 16' S , 132 9' E), Feb 1879
A.4594 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Port Darwin , (12 27' S , 130 48' E),
A.4600 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Port Essington , (11 16' S , 132 9' E), Feb 1879
A.1274 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Cairns , (16 55' S , 145 46' E),

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.28873 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Double Is: Beech Forest , (16 44' S , 145 11' E), 16 Oct 1912

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.25060 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Coomooboolaroo, Duaringa , (23 52' S , 149 34' E),
A.4601 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Port Essington , (11 16' S , 132 9' E),

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.25619 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Coomooboolaroo, Duaringa , (23 52' S , 149 34' E), 1887

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.25620 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Coomooboolaroo, Duaringa , (23 52' S , 149 34' E), 13 Nov 1892

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.28872 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Cairns , (16 55' S , 145 46' E), 1894

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.24018 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Brisbane R , (27 28' S , 153 1' E),

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.23599 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Brisbane R , (27 28' S , 153 1' E),

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.18290 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Port Denison , (20 1' S , 148 15' E), Nov 1865

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.15899 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Northern Territory, Charles Point Lighthouse , (12 24' S , 130 38' E),

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.15612 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Bimbi, Duaringa , (23 43' S , 149 40' E), 5 Oct 1906

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.15611 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Bimbi, Duaringa , (23 43' S , 149 40' E), 5 Oct 1906
A.7727 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Port Denison , (20 1' S , 148 15' E),

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.15610 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Bimbi, Duaringa , (23 43' S , 149 40' E), 5 Oct 1906
A.7728 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Port Denison , (20 1' S , 148 15' E),

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.15609 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Bimbi, Duaringa , (23 43' S , 149 40' E), 5 Oct 1906

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.15608 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Bimbi, Duaringa , (23 43' S , 149 40' E), 5 Oct 1906

(c) assumed Australian Museum.

O.25618 - Dacelo leachii Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 - Australia, Queensland, Coomooboolaroo, Duaringa , (23 52' S , 149 34' E), 28 Oct 1892