Kookaburra couple





Kookaburra couple.

Toffee (L) and Taffy (R)

In June or July every  year a pair of kookaburras arrive in my garden at Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. The rest of the time  I only see them in the distance, and hear them laughing  and chattering with their extended family. Their regular visits  are one of the special joys of winter, along with fragrant daphne, AFL football  and warm, wood fires.

I call the birds   Toffee (left) and Taffy.  Toffee has lighter head feathers, so they are easy to tell apart. I think of her as the female, although I don’t  really know for sure. . Apparently kookaburras mate for life, so I hope nothing nasty happens to one of them. They live for about 15 years in the wild.

Kookaburras at Blackheath

Toffee  and mate Taffy.

Kookaburra pair at Blackheath

Back in Pauline’s garden.

Nature being what it is, their behavior is not always so sweet. One day I spotted them squabbling over a poor mouse. What a dreadful way to go! Taffy appeared to have the better hold. I think they mainly live on lizards and snakes, and frogs down in Pope’s Glen Creek.

Kookaburras squabbling over a mouse

Tricky situation for the mouse.

A few day afterwards they arrived on the balcony railing of the deck. I presume they are watching their reflection in the windows, but they never seem agitated. I don’t feed them, and they rarely  use the birdbaths. However,  they become quite friendly and used to my presence. Taffy is on the left in the shot below.

Kookaburra pair.

Beside the deck is a Japanese maple that has coral coloured bark in spring. It adds a slash of colour when the trees are bare, and is a pretty backdrop to the kooka photos.


Snuggling up!

Kookaburra pair.

My young associate Editor Des was a bit unsure of the visitors at first, especially Taffy. However, they eventually  became friends .

Editor Des and kookaburra

You lookin’ at me?

Kookaburras and Editor Des

That furry little fellow is here again!

Des’s friend Milly was even more cautious. I think this was Toffee.

Kookaburrra with Editor Des and Milly

Milly meets Toffee from a safe distance.

Kookaburras are such characters. I’m delighted that the dear old kooka is the official bird for New South Wales.

Kookburra pair.

Ain’t love grand?

Last year I watched them coming and going from their nest hollow. It was too far away to document with my little ‘point and shoot’ camera.  And with chicks  to care for they no longer had time to sit and bond on my deck.

UPDATE – A few days ago  I saw Toffee and Taffy  sitting together high on a gum tree branch. Goodnight my friends. I hope you will be back soon.

Kookaburra couple in gum tree

Kooka couple

  1. A lovely wildlife story. I love your rambling garden.

  2. What a lovely feel good story. Thank you for sharing.

    • Pauline

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Lorraine. They are delightful birds.

  3. Hi my great grandparents raised the Freeman triplets.
    My nan was Esma Freeman
    I would like to buy a copy of the book within it please.

    • Pauline

      Hello Tash. Well there is no book yet, but I am writing a biography of Dr Victor Ratten, who delivered the triplets. Their story will be told in it. Won’t be out for a year of so though.

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