On 30th April while guiding near Julatten we
flushed a Blue-winged Kookaburra from a roadside table drain that then flew to a
eucalypt about 70 metres distant. As it was an adult in nice plumage we took the
opportunity to view it as because of their shyness they often move
It had a food item in it's bill
which first appeared as though it had gathered some dead leaves with it's
Our attention was then diverted
by some honeyeaters for a time.
As the kookaburra started to
belt it's prey on the limb in usual fashion we realised that it was trying to
"soften up"a small tortise about 80mm across the shell! Due to the shape and
size of it's bill the bird had no difficulty in holding the tortise during the
We felt that the prey would have
been too wide for the kookaburra to manage to swallow whole and as we had to
move on we don't know what the eventual outcome was.
As we parted the vicinity
a couple of the birds went on with their raucous calls and our party of humans
didn't know if it meant ridicule or congratulations to the hunter.
Del. Richards, Fine Feather Tours, Mossman,