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KOOKABURRA

Kookaburras are large to very large terrestrial kingfishers native to Australia and New Guinea. They are best known for their unmistakable call, which sounds uncannily like loud, echoing human laughter - good-natured, but rather hysterical laughing. They are generally not closely associated with water, and can be found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, but also in suburban and residential areas near running water and where food can be searched for easily. Kookaburras are carnivorous. They will eat lizards, snakes, insects, mice, other small birds, and raw meat. The most social birds will accept handouts from humans and will take raw or cooked meat from or near barbecues left unattended. They are territorial, and often live with the partly grown chicks from the previous season. They often sing as a chorus to make their territory. Although the Kookaburra is restricted to a relatively small part of the world, the distinctive sound it makes has found its way onto many "jungle soundtracks" used in movies and television as well as certain Disney park attractions.