Dacelo Leachii

Description

The Blue-winged Kookaburra is a large kingfisher, slightly smaller than the laughing kookaburra. It has distinctive pale eyes, head is off-white with brown streaks, the shoulders are sky blue and it has a uniform blue rump. The throat is plain white and the under parts are white with faint scalloped orange-brown bars and back is mid brown. Males have a dark blue tail while females tails are barred red-brown or blackish, otherwise the sexes are similar. The legs and feet are grey and the bill is dark above and yellowish below. Juveniles have paler streaks on the head with darker uneven spots.

Distribution

The Blue-winged Kookaburra is found in coastal and sub-coastal areas in northwest and northeast Australia, Torres Strait and Southern New Guinea. It is widespread in the Gulf Country of Queensland extending South to about Toowoomba. It is also widespread in the top end of Northern Territory.

Lifespan

The lifespan of the Blue-winged Kookaburra is 20 years or more.

Size

The size of the Blue-winged Kookaburra is 38 - 42 centimetres in length, with an average weight of 310 grams.

Diet

The Blue-winged Kookaburra eats a wide range of invertebrates and vertebrates. They consume mainly insects, reptiles and frogs in the wetter months, and fish, crayfish, scorpions, spiders, snakes, earthworms and small birds and mammals at other times.

Habitat

Blue-winged Kookaburras are found in tropical and subtropical open woodlands, paperbark swamps, clearings, canefields and farmlands.

Breeding

Breeding season is September to January, where the Blue-winged Kookaburra will construct a nest high (about 25 metres) up in the natural tree hollows and sometimes in tree termite nests. The breeding pair share the incubation of 2 - 5 eggs for about 26 days.