Although kookaburras are not normally found in the Outback, I can’t resist sharing with you this picture of baby kookaburras from a recent edition of the Sydney Morning Herald:
They’re certainly cute, and their mother no doubt thinks they’re exquisitely beautiful. I was more than usually interested, because in recent weeks I’ve got to be on quite friendly terms with several local kookas, who will now take a piece of meat from my hand, and, after gobbling down the first piece, will accept a second piece and fly off across the bay with it held in their sizable beak. In my sentimental way, I assume they have a nest full of hungry chicks to feed, something like those in the picture, and are diligently carrying out their parental duties. Such beautiful creatures!
Assorted other smaller birds, particularly Indian mynas, seem far less charitable in their attitude to the kookaburras, making repeated dive-bombing raids accompanied by loud squawking just above the kookas’ heads. This is I’m told due to the tendency of the carnivorous kookaburras to sometimes eat the chicks of other species. It’s a jungle out there!