Australia’s Laughing Bird – The Kookaburra

We named our website after the Kookaburra because she seems to us to be Australia’s natural symbol of the Holy Spirit. Why? Well, her call, which is the most unmistakable laugh of the whole bird world, fills the air with good humour, but can at the same time, be a call to humility – a rather sharp reminder of one’s own absurdity. Furthermore, this is a bird that does battle with snakes, and usually wins. So, she is a symbol of the Spirit’s power to spread joy and laughter, to remind people not to take themselves too seriously, and to confront and overcome forces of evil.

For the ornothologists among you, there are actually two closely related species of Kookaburra. The first one pictured is a Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) and the second one is a Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii). The former has the more pronounced rollicking laugh (see video below). The latter has more of a coughing cackle. The two are sufficiently similar that they often interact in territorial behaviour as though they were the same species.

Laughing Kookaburra – Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
Blue-winged Kookaburra
Nonie, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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