Kookaburra Sits on an Old Gum Tree

For some reason I knew this nursery rhyme growing up and it wasn’t because I had family from Australia. The song goes like this:

“Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be!

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Eating all the gum drops he can see.
Stop Kookaburra, stop Kookaburra
Save some there for me!

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Counting all the monkeys he can see.
Laugh Kookaburra, laugh Kookaburra
That’s not a monkey, that’s me!”

Learn the song here!

It was always funny to think about a bird laughing, not that I knew what the heck a Kookaburra was or anything. Well now many years after learning that silly song the words really mean something to me.

I heard my first Kookaburra laugh when I was living in Sydney. I wasn’t sure at first what in the world I was hearing such a funny noise to hear from a bird who usually sounds melodious and beautiful as the chirp and sing. This was not that sound…at all, especially now that they seem to laugh about waking me up at 5am thinking its a good joke.


Kookaburra Laughing

I got more acquainted with this native Australian bird on my first trip to Brisbane with Alex last December. It seemed after a while of feeding this cute little birds they had become friendly with his dad Con, who was all too excited to share his little friends with me.


These birdies like to eat meat so when Con would feed them they would get the raw scraps of meat that Carolyn wouldn’t use for her cooking. He would then walk to the pool area and begin to make his bird call and bang the (tupperwear) container on the railing until the Kookaburra’s would fly down from their tree and perch next to him. From there he would feed them by hand. I got my turn the next night but decided I wasn’t up for hand-feeding a strange bird.


I have to say I was pretty excited to share our little “house-pets” to my mom and grandma when they came over in July. By this time I had been living up in Brisbane a few weeks and had become more comfortable feeding these funny-named-bird-friends.

Well after a few months of being friends with the friendly Kookaburra (I could tell the more friendly one by the low hanging left wing) I was feeling like quite the little bird trainer. I had gotten to a point where I could toss the meat high into the air and watch them fly up and catch it landing on the fence and swallowing it in one easy motion. In more recent weeks we saw two new Kookaburra friends that seemed to be new spring babies.


Well October 8 was like any other the day, Alex and I were getting ready to head to the airport and I decided to feed to birds before we left. I cut up some chicken and held it in my hand to go feed them, for the first time I didn’t use the tupperware. I threw the first piece of meat up in the air waiting to see which one would fly up to grab it, which neither of them did so it fell by the fence and neither could see where it went. So in my comfortability with my winged wild pets I went to go look for it, taking my eyes off the birds.

Thats when it happened.

Silently the bird had flown off the fence and thought my pointer finger looked like a tasty treat. I suddenly felt a hard pinch and flung my body around. THE BIRD BIT ME! I was stunned at this fact, after months and months of building a great rapport with my Kookaburra friends one had turned on me like a wild beast!

So the moral of the story is never trust a bird because it could decide one day to thirst for more than raw meat, it could be hungry for human flesh!


Still Recovering-

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