or laughing jackass
Kookaburra (Dacelo gigas)
Eastern Australian species (Dacelo gigas
) of forest kingfisher
(subfamily Daceloninae). Its call, which sounds like fiendish laughter, can be heard very early in the morning and just after sunset. A gray-brown, woodland-dwelling bird, it reaches a length of 17 in. (43 cm), with a 3.2–4-in. (8–10-cm) beak. In its native habitat it eats invertebrates and small vertebrates, including venomous snakes. In western Australia and New Zealand, where it has been introduced, it has been known to attack chickens and ducklings.
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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.