Meet the 2 Types of Kookaburras in the Blue Mountains

Meet the 2 Types of Kookaburras in the Blue Mountains

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 06/24/2024

Reading time: 2 mins

The Blue Mountains is home to an array of wildlife, including the iconic kookaburra.

Kookaburras are much loved birds native to Australia and Papua New Guinea. They belong to the kingfisher family and their iconic cackles can be heard in the early morning across Australia.

The Blue Mountains provide an ideal habitat for kookaburras, with its abundant trees and bushland. Keep an eye out for these two kookaburras while in the region.

Types of kookaburras 

  1. Laughing kookaburra

The laughing kookaburra is the largest type of kingfisher and inhabits woodlands and forests. They are predominantly found across Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales. They are also scattered in southern Western Australia and other parts of the country.

Most people recognise them by their distinctive laughing call echoing through the forest. These birds have off white underparts with dark brown backs and wings, and some may exhibit hints of blue on their wings.

Laughing kookaburras form lifelong pair bonds during their breeding season between August and January. They nest in natural tree hollows or burrows with both parents sharing incubation and care duties. Previous offspring often assist during the breeding season.

  1. Blue winged kookaburra

The blue winged kookaburra is characterised by its blue wings and tail feathers. These birds are mainly brown and white with darker streaks on their feathers. Slightly smaller than the laughing kookaburra, they have a longer bill and a square head.

Blue winged kookaburras have varied calls including screeches, trills, barks, and hoarse screeches. They are primarily found in northern Australia but also occur sporadically across the mainland.

Breeding occurs between September and January, with nests located in high natural tree hollows or termite nests. Incubation takes about 26 days, shared by both parents, followed by feeding for about a month or two. Older offspring from previous years often assist with feeding.


Best ways to see a kookaburra 

Your best chance of spotting a kookaburra in the Blue Mountains is bushwalking through the area. Keep an eye on the trees and listen for their distinctive calls!

Another option is to join the Blue Mountains walking tour, allowing you to explore trails and visit popular locations like Lincoln’s Rock Lookout and Wentworth Falls. While on these trails, stay attentive as you may encounter one of the kookaburras and possibly hear their laughter echoing.


Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.