How’s this for funny news? On April 11, a male laughing kookaburra hatched out to mom Baz and dad Bendigo in the Cockatiel Creek aviary. This chick is the first member of his species to hatch at the Zoo since Baz herself in 2004!
Baz laid three eggs in March, and keepers monitored her and Bendigo closely throughout the incubation period to make sure these would-be parents kept their nest warm. The other two eggs failed to develop.
The adult kookaburras are trained to take food directly from keepers, so we are able to monitor exactly how much sustenance Baz and Bendigo bring back to the nest. It turns out these first-time parents were under-feeding the chick, so animal care staff have been providing supplemental feedings four times per day.
Baz and Bendigo don’t seem to mind when keepers take the chick out of the nest for mealtime. In fact, they’re so laid-back that they’ll allow certain cockatiels to “nanny” the chick during the day!
You’ll be able to see the chick when he learns how to fly and leaves the nest in the coming weeks. Until then, you may be lucky enough to catch a feeding in action!
Laughing kookaburras are members of the kingfisher family native to eastern and southwestern Australia. Their distinctive “laugh,” which is actually a territorial call, is frequently used as a stock sound effect for films set in the jungles of South America or Africa.