Are related to kookaburras and ice birds

Kookaburra - Laughing Hans

The laughing man owes his name to Hans (lat .: Dacelo gigas) his reputation, which can be compared to human laughter, and which he lets out early in the morning and late in the evening.

It is particularly popular in Australia because it eats mice and also dares to attack poisonous snakes, which it knows how to prey.

It kills its prey by grabbing one end with its beak and hitting it against a branch or stone.

The same behavior can also be observed in the zoo, although the laughing Hans receives no live food there. He builds his nests in tree hollows.


Relationship: Rockfish, Kingfishers
Habitat: eucalyptus forests, open forest
Food: insects, crabs, snakes, small rodents, nestling birds
Weight of the male: 310 to 370 g
Weight of the female: 310 to 370 g
Young animal weight: Egg: 21 to 28 g
Sexual maturity: 2 years
Life expectancy: more than 27 years
Clutch size: 2 to 4 eggs
Incubation period: 22 to 26 days
Breeding animal: females and males
Breeding season: January to August



According to a legend of the Australian Aborigines, the early morning laughter is a signal for the heavenly people to light the great fire that lights and warms the earth.

The actual biological function of laughter, however, is to mark out one's own territory.


Nest building

The nests are built in tree hollows into which the female lays the pearly white eggs.

The eggs are not laid at the same time, but at intervals of 1 to 3 days. After hatching, the young birds stay in the nest for another 30 to 36 days.


With the kind permission of: Zoo Zurich,