SITS IN THE OLD GUM TREE
Laughing Kookaburra, Glenburn Bend Park 2022 Photo by George Fernando
We are seeing Kookaburras along Gardiners Creek, Glen Iris after a long absence. It is always a heart-warming sight to see these birds and listen to their noisy laughing call, so well-known by everybody. I have been seeing a particular Kookaburra who visits us off and on. One day I spotted him on a low branch of a tree and walked up to him getting quite close. He looked at me cautiously but didn’t mind my closeness. Suddenly he dived to the ground and snatched a skink from the decomposing plant material and proceed to eat his well-earned snack. One day, when one of our working bees was taking place and a huge pile of mulch was being spread around our plantings, once again, our Kookaburra came close to observe the work going on. He was of course hoping to find a worm or two in the mulch being spread around.
A resident family of Kookaburras, both parents plus fledgling, have also been spotted. Kookaburra offspring stay around with the parents, helping them to feed and raise younger siblings.
Sadly, the bigger picture is very different. The number of Kookaburras in Australia is declining. Birdlife Australia statistics confirm this decline. I refer to an article and interview of Sean Dooley from Birdlife Australia. See link to this material below. Our much-loved magpies too are also on the decline. The status of our Koalas has moved from vulnerable to endangered. What would Australia be like without these animals? I think we have a lot of work ahead of us.
by George Fernando
Article reproduced from Friends of Gardiners Creek Valley Inc. Newsletter 74, March 2022