More information -
This is a group of kookaburras I often see - I took the photograph from my
balcony, and they were not far away. There was a group of four and the ‘battle’
lasted around 5 minutes. I saw the beak hanging behaviour twice. Afterwards
they all flew off together. I did wonder if there were juveniles involved.
This is another photo of the two involved.
Sent from my iPad
> On 31 Oct 2018, at 5:13 pm, Carol Probets <> wrote:
> Susan, I think this was a fascinating observation and extra kudos for
> capturing the behaviour in a photo.
> Three possibilities come to mind for me: (a) play, (b) establishing dominance
> within a group, or (c) territorial fighting with an outsider. The behaviour
> around the incident will suggest which it was. Did the bird on the receiving
> end of the altercation flee afterwards, or did all seem to return to normal?
> Kookaburras are particularly aggressive in their defence of territory and if
> an individual strays into another group's territory, it’s possible for a
> fight to the death to ensue.
> Additionally, I think your photo illustrates well how strong a kookaburra's
> neck muscles are. These attach to a special bony ridge at the back of the
> skull and enable the bird to beat its prey with great force. And, it seems,
> to hold and dangle a rival by its head.
>> On 31 Oct 2018, at 3:43 pm, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
>> Sure is an odd picture. I suggest it is just one of those odd moments that a
>> camera is able to record, that would otherwise be lost. As I see it, it is
>> not "one of the birds was completely suspended by the beak". The grip is on
>> the feathers of the face. I don't see anything requiring any explanation,
>> other than just a moment of drama in a fight. Could be wrong of
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Birding-Aus On Behalf Of
>> Susan Pepper
>> Sent: Wednesday, 31 October, 2018 2:06 PM
>> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Kookaburra behaviour
>> I have just been watching some kookaburras and witnessed behaviour I have
>> not seen before. I am curious to know if any one can explain it. Two of them
>> appeared to be fighting with their beaks, and twice one of the birds was
>> completely suspended by the beak with the other kookaburra holding it. Is
>> this normal for the species?
>> Susan, Mooroolbark.
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