How do kookaburras sleep

Laughing Hans


What does the laughing Hans look like?

The laughing Hans belongs to the genus of the so-called Jägerlieste. These birds, in turn, belong to the kingfishers family and are the largest representatives of this family in Australia.

They grow up to 48 centimeters and weigh about 360 grams, the body is stocky, wings and tail are quite short.

They are brown-gray on the back and white on the stomach and neck.

On the side of the head, under the eye, there is a wide dark stripe. The head is very large in relation to the body. The strong beak is striking: it becomes eight to ten centimeters long.

Outwardly, males and females can hardly be distinguished.

Where does the laughing Hans live?

The laughing Hans only occurs in Australia. There he lives mainly in the eastern and southern parts of the continent.

The Laughing Hans is quite adaptable and can therefore be found in many different habitats. Most of the time, however, it lives close to the water.

The birds are real "cultural followers": They are more and more close to humans in gardens and parks.

What species is the laughing Hans related to?

There are four different species in the genus of the Jägerlieste that are at home in Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania. In addition to the laughing Hans, these are the Haubenliest or blue-winged Kookaburra, the Aruliest and the Rotbelbelliest.

They all belong to the kingfishers family and thus to the order of the rockfish.

How old is the laughing Hans?

The laughing Hans can get quite old: The birds live up to 20 years.


How does the laughing Hans live?

The laughing Hans is one of Australia's most popular birds and even adorns a postage stamp.

The natives of Australia, the Aborigines, call the laughing one Hans Kookaburra. Long ago they told each other legends about this striking bird. Accordingly, when the sun rose for the first time, the god Bayame is said to have ordered the Kookaburra to let his loud laughter be heard so that people would wake up and not miss the beautiful sunrise.

According to Aboriginal belief, children are also unlucky when they insult a Kookaburra: a tooth supposedly grows crookedly out of their mouths.

The birds are sociable: they always live in pairs and have a fixed territory.

Once a male and a female have found each other, they will stay together for a lifetime. Sometimes, however, several couples get together in small groups.

In the vicinity of human settlements, the animals can also become quite tame: they let themselves be fed and sometimes even come into houses.

The birds are unmistakable through their typical screams: especially at sunrise and sunset, they let out calls that are reminiscent of very loud laughter.

Because they always call at the same time, they are also called "Buchsmann's clock" in Australia.

The laughter begins quietly at first, then gets louder and louder and ends with a roaring roar.

The screaming serves the birds to delimit their territory and to announce to other conspecifics: This is our territory!

Friends and enemies of the laughing Hans

Thanks to his strong beak, the laughing Hans is quite defensive: If an enemy, such as birds of prey or reptiles, approaches his nest with the boy, he defends himself and his boy with violent beak blows.

How does the laughing Hans multiply?

The laughing Hans usually builds his nest in the caves of old rubber trees, but sometimes also in the old nests of tree termites.

The mating season is between September and December. A female lays two to four white colored eggs. Males and females take turns breeding. If the female wants to be relieved, she rubs her beak on the tree and lures the male over with this sound.

The young hatch after 25 days of incubation. They are still naked and blind and completely dependent on their parents' care.

After 30 days they are so developed that they leave the nest. However, they will be fed by their parents for around 40 days.

They often stay with their parents for up to two years or more and help them raise their next youngsters. They vigorously defend their younger siblings against enemies.

The birds become sexually mature at around two years of age.

How does the laughing Hans communicate?

The typical sounds of the laughing Hans are the calls similar to human laughter, which start softly and end with booming loudness.


What is the laughing Hans eating?

The laughing Hans feeds on insects, reptiles and small mammals. He hunts them at the edges of the forest, in clearings, but also in gardens and parks. He doesn't stop at poisonous snakes either.

It also prey in the water: it fishes crabs, mussels and even fish from shallow waters.

Sometimes it even steals eggs or juveniles from the nests of other bird species - and every now and then it attacks the chicks of domestic chickens.

Posture of the laughing Hans

The Laughing Hans is often kept and bred in zoos. There the birds are fed with pieces of meat, mice, fish, grasshoppers and multiworms.