Lane Cove National Park #2: Laughing kookaburra

Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

 

This mischievous Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) had good reason for mirth today — a perfectly executed raid on a picnic table at the Lane Cove National Park in Sydney.

The tree from which Kooky planned its daring raid

The tree from which Kooky planned its daring raid

 

Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Startled cries drew my attention to the picnic table about 20 metres to my right. The cause: a kookaburra flying back to the tree in which it had been sitting earlier, with a couple of children in pursuit and a large-ish piece of chicken wing or lamb chop in its beak. Ha!

A Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) kills its "prey"

A Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) kills its “prey”

The bird then fluttered down to the ground and gave its prey a good bashing to kill it just a bit deader.

A Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) kills its "prey"

A Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) kills its “prey”

As the children approached the kookaburra took wing again, swooping past them at about chest height before landing on a branch almost directly above its victims.

I have deliberately omitted the people concerned from this series of pictures. It does spoil the fun a bit, I know — but I did get a photo of two children, dressed as pirates and pointing excitedly with plastic swords at the bird as it flew between us.

In flight, with stolen food

In flight, with stolen food

I actually managed to track the kookaburra with the camera at almost the perfect speed — but my focus control left a lot to be desired!

In a tree almost directly above its victims

In a tree almost directly above its victims

As the kookaburra continued with its meal some pieces fell on to the ground and had to be retrieved.

Finishing off a dropped morsel

Finishing off a dropped morsel

Its total concentration on the food allowed me to approach quite closely.

Finishing off a dropped morsel

Finishing off a dropped morsel

 

Finishing off a dropped morsel

Finishing off a dropped morsel

 

Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Last bite, before it’s time to take a nap and digest in peace.

 

Useful links:

Lane Cove National Park #1: Waterfowl
Lane Cove National Park #3: Land creatures
Official page of the Lane Cove National Park

Date: 25 October 2014
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens 1: Pentax smc DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 ED SDM
Ambient light only.
Conditions: Sunny
Hand-held only.
Cropping and resizing in Irfanview.

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