We have two families of kingfishers in Australia, the Alcedinidae, which includes the tiny and spectacular Azure Kingfisher (a rare visitor to these parts) and the Halcyonidae or Tree Kingfishers. Both the Sacred Kingfisher and Laughing Kookaburra belong to the Halcyonidae. While I look forward every spring to the return of the glorious Sacred Kingfishers, Laughing Kookaburras are ever-present – hearing their raucous laughter is one of the joys of living in the Australian bush.
This pair has taken up residence near one of the veteran River Red-gums on the Loddon. I expect they will use one of the many hollows as a breeding site so will keep tabs on them over the next little while. Laughing Kookaburras are cooperative breeders, young from previous seasons may remain with the parents for a number of years to help with rearing nestlings. This pair seemed to be ‘childless’ but we’ll see.