By: Jamie Hogan
Hi, my name is Sydney! I’m the new Laughing Kookaburra here at Adventure Aquarium.
Currently I am a year old and weigh about 9.8 ounces. Typically the lifespan for my species is about 15-20 years. On average we are about 13-16 ounces and 18.5 inches long with the females being slightly larger than us males. Our beaks can be as long as 4 inches!
My wild friends live in Australia in eucalyptus forests, open woodlands and sometimes gardens or parks. In the wild we have to worry about predators such as cats, dogs, foxes, and larger predatory birds such as eagles and owls. Kookaburras are carnivorous birds that dine on small reptiles such as lizards and snakes, rodents and the young of other birds. We will occasionally eat worms and insects and rarely prey on fish, even though we are the largest bird in the kingfisher family. My diet at the Aquarium consists of two mice daily, which I really look forward to! I also enjoy wax worms and mealworms as treats or as a reward during training sessions.
My job here at the aquarium will be doing Up-Closes and entertaining guests while the biologists inform them about me. Right now I’m still getting used to sitting on their hands and being in new places so I’ve been doing training sessions with the biologists to help me get ready. Once I get settled on their hand, I really like going for walks around the Aquarium and outside!
One of my favorite things to do is look out my window and watch the people and birds go by. I can be territorial while doing this though and show that through my unique call. This call, which gives me the name “laughing” kookaburra, consists of many trills, chortles, belly laughs, and hoots. I’m also very good at making this call loudly so you may hear me if you are upstairs in the north building. My call is so popular and unique that a children’s song was written about it (“Kookaburra” aka Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree) and it was used in the Tarzan movies to simulate jungle noises.