Sounds From The Wild: The Laughing Kookaburra It's a common sound in the Australian bush, starting up just around daylight: the laughing call of the kookaburra. These birds get together in small groups, have a chat and then go into a full laughter song, letting other kookaburras know where their territory is.

Sounds From The Wild: The Laughing Kookaburra

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When you hear the sound of the bird we're about to broadcast, you may know that sound even if you don't know the creature's name. Its voice has turned up in a movie or two and it is the latest wildlife we will listen to as part of a series you could only get on the radio. It's called Sounds Wild. In Australia, wildlife expert David Stewart has been recording the kookaburra.

(Soundbite of kookaburra)

Mr. DAVID STEWART (Wildlife Expert): You get these sounds at daylight, so it is a very common sound in the Australian bush that you'll hear these kookaburras start up just after daylight or even before daylight, but it's usually very early in the morning when they make this sort of song.

(Soundbite of kookaburras)

Mr. STEWART: It's the largest kingfisher in the world. If you took a measurement, it'd be about 20 inches long. It is sort of whitish around the head and on the breast and brownish on the wings and the primaries.

(Soundbite of kookaburras)

Mr. STEWART: In this group that we're listening to here, there'll probably be four or five birds as sort of letting other kookaburras in the area know that this is their territory. So they get together, they have a bit of a chat and they go into the full laughter song.

(Soundbite of kookaburras)

Mr. STEWART: Isn't it a happy sound. I think they're just waking up in the morning and feeling great and they're just letting other kookaburras around know that this is their territory.

(Soundbite of kookaburras)

INSKEEP: The kookaburra, and other sounds in our series, come from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. NPR's Christopher Joyce collected them for MORNING EDITION. And you can hear other sounds in this series by going to

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