Why do kookaburras call?

Kookaburras are tree birds found only in Australia and New Guinea.  These birds are classified as relatively large birds and their bodies could stretch to as long as 17 inches.  Kookaburras are also known to be carnivorous birds and this simply means that they feed on other smaller animals like insects, mice, snakes, and other birds.  One distinct characteristic of kookaburras is the call or sound they make. Their call is likened to human laughing because it resembles the sound that people make when they laugh.  This distinct call by kookaburras is mainly due to the territorial behavior of these birds. They make the call to basically tell other birds that they own a particular area or territory.  The kookaburra call is like an announcement that a bird wants to declare a particular territory as his/her own.  Whenever another bird enters this supposed territory, the kookaburra call could also be warning signal to the visiting bird.  Most often, kookaburras in a particular territory will call out each other and seemingly laugh together to ward off other birds of a different species.

Aside from its territorial nature, the kookaburra call is also used for communication between other kookaburras.  Depending on the pitch and tone, the kookaburra bird calls or sings with other birds as a form of communication between themselves.  In this way, the kookaburras will feel safe and secure knowing that their call is responded with another call from other kookaburras in the area.  Calling other kookaburras will also help some birds to know if a particular area is free to take over or not.  Whenever a kookaburra calls and there is no other bird who responds, it may be a sign that the territory is unmarked and uninhabited by other birds and thus it is free for any bird to take over and reside.

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