The kookaburra, also called laughing kookaburra or laughing jackass, (Dacelo novaeguineae), is the largest member of the Kingfisher family. It is an eastern Australian bird whose call sounds like fiendish laughter. It is a monogamous, territorial bird that nests in tree holes. The name "laughing kookaburra" refers to the bird's "laugh", which it uses to establish territory amongst family groups - the actual name is a loanword from Wiradjuri guuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. It can be heard at any time of day, but most frequently shortly after dawn and after sunset to dusk. One bird starts with a low, hiccuping chuckle, then throws its head back in raucous laughter: often several others join in. If a rival tribe is within earshot and replies, the whole family soon gathers to fill the bush with ringing laughter. Hearing kookaburras in full voice is one of the more extraordinary experiences of the Australian bush, Kookaburras are known to eat the young of other birds, mice, snakes, insects and small reptiles.
See also: Blue winged kookabura, Laughing kookaburra