Kookaburra Beats the Odds

May 3, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Posted in Australia, Gardens, Nature | 5 Comments
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We had a display of the natural world at work a week or two ago. I heard a lot of noisy miners (native birds) out in the back yard, and they were obviously upset about something. Then I heard what sounded like a muffled growl, so I went outside to see what was happening.


There, I saw a kookaburra hunched up against the garden terrace wall. It had something large in its beak, and the little miners were harassing it fiercely.

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Kooka with its prey, before flying into the trees.


I thought the kooka had a mouse and called for MOTH (the Man of the House) to bring his camera. It took a few minutes for him to find it, and I thought we’d lose our chance to catch the bird and its prey in pictures.


MOTH came out just as Kooka escaped the miners and flew up into the ironbark tree near the back door. However, with the bright light, and lots of branches in the way, it was hard to focus on the bird from where he was.


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A single noisy miner keeps up the harassment, to no avail.

I was up the slope on the lawn by then, and I could see it clearly. MOTH brought me the camera and I took several shots of it from there. What Kooka had in its beak was a dead miner bird.

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This kookaburra would like part of the spoils.


Three other kookas also hung around, as well as a magpie and a couple of currawongs. They were all probably hoping Kooka would drop its prey and they’d be able to snatch it away.

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Another kooka looks on with interest


However, the miners let up their mass attack, and Kooka flew up into the big bush mahogany tree. There, it proceeded to bash the miner bird’s body against the branch so it would be easier to devour.IMG_1502 (800x600)


I managed to get photos of all four of the kookaburras, but none of the currawongs, which kept their distance.

There isn't much left of the noisy miner here.

There isn’t much left of the noisy miner here.



© Linda Visman



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  1. I had no idea that a Kookaburra eats other birds. What a moment! Fascinating Linda.

    • It is the first time we have see it, Don. Usually, it is large bugs, cockroaches, lizards, small snakes, etc. I suppose they take what they can get when they can get it. 🙂

  2. I have never seen a Kookaburra as they are not native in my area. however, I do know the song about them that I used to sing often as a girl. ‘Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree; merry, merry king of the bush is he…..was on my lips the whole while I was reading your post and looking at your pictures.
    Mary @ The View from my World

    • I think anyone who knows about kookaburras knows that song Mary! 🙂
      Many thanks for the visit & comment.

  3. Amazing! I’ve never heard of Kookas eating other birds, either.

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