One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A very large Australasian kingfisher that feeds on terrestrial prey such as reptiles and birds.
Genus Dacelo, family Alcedinidae: two species, in particular the laughing kookaburra or laughing jackass (D. novaeguineae), which has a loud cackling call
- ‘In a broader survey of this population of kookaburras, the youngest nestling in broods of three was killed in one third of nests.’
- ‘Early in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the long, raucous call of an Australian kookaburra rings out in the Americas, but Budney appreciates it as homage to the corny roots of jungle-adventure movies.’
- ‘With its kangaroos and kookaburras, and leg-of-mutton sleeves and button boots, this is a timeless story about the warmth of family.’
- ‘I didn't know what they were, but I wondered if they might be a species of kookaburra.’
- ‘And then it started to pour down rain, so I trudged back to my car like some wild-eyed prophet, taunted by the laughing kookaburras as I passed them.’
- ‘There's a kookaburra outside my window as I'm writing today.’
- ‘Elsewhere in the valley you might see other birds as fantastic as their names: gang-gangs, king parrots, satin bowerbirds, laughing kookaburras, and lyre-birds that dance in clearings with tails fanned out like peacocks.’
- ‘I'd never seen so many kookaburras in one place.’
- ‘The yammering kookaburra, usually so talkative, was silent, for he too was fast asleep.’
- ‘So the cassowaries, kookaburras, koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles and wallabies that one goes to Australia in the hope of seeing are all there.’
- ‘Here and there the raucous laughter of the kookaburra seemed to mock our attempt.’
- ‘First, kookaburras breed in nuclear family groups where a monogamous pair are assisted by up to six offspring-helpers.’
- ‘And I thought it was all cuddly wombats, koalas and kookaburras.’
- ‘Maybe that's what started the kookaburra laughing.’
- ‘From flying foxes to laughing kookaburras and live crocodiles, they'll meet elements of nature that, for many people, are worlds away from Baltimore.’
- ‘Some pairs of kingfishers call in duets, and cooperative groups of kookaburras call in a chorus at dawn and dusk.’
- ‘The mascots at the Summer 2000 games in Sydney, Australia, were a platypus named Syd, an echidna called Millie, and a kookaburra called Olly.’
- ‘Other birds include a huge American bald eagle called Liberty, buzzards, Harris hawks, vultures, laughing kookaburras and a pelican.’
- ‘A kookaburra flies between the clusters of trees with buoyant, floating wing beats.’
- ‘Sitting beneath fans of ferns, perfect natural sunshades, we were joined within minutes by two laughing kookaburras, a rosella and a yellow-breasted robin.’
Late 19th century: from Wiradhuri gugubarra.
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