Friday, 16 August 2013

Kookaburra bill

Birds often develop deformed bills and I wonder why they occur, accident or disease. I met this Kookaburra in the bush yesterday, and I recognised it by its distinctive bill shape from last year. It was in the same area and probably the same family group's home range as it was displaying with another bird. So although it appears that it might have difficulty feeding with such a long upper mandible compared with the lower one, it must be successful. Kookaburras catch most of their prey by pouncing down on them from a perch and snatching them with their bills. Typically, they catch anything from insects to small reptiles, so they need to be quick and efficient.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if it is caused by a disease like the one that affects cockatoos? I saw a Kookaburra with a similar bill deformity, although not quite as pronounced, in the Barrington Tops. There is a sequence of photos of it here. [Click the right arrow to see it catching a large earthworm. The photos are in reverse chronological order.]