The Laughing Kookaburras are Australian kingfishers that are named for their laughing calls. In the 19th century this species was called the "laughing jackass", a name first recorded in 'An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales' by David Collins published in 1798. The kookaburra name comes from Wiradjuri, an endangered Aboriginal language.
The name "Laughing Kookaburra" has been bestowed on this bird due to its call. Their vocalizations establish the boundaries of their territory to other family groups. It can be heard at any time, but is most audible at dawn and dusk.
A single bird will start the call with a subtle, chuckling sound, something like a hiccup. Before long, he is throwing his head back and making a cackling, raucous laugh, inviting the rest of the group to join him. Soon the entire family is creating an ear-splitting din that can be heard for miles in all directions. Other neighboring families hear this and respond; soon the bush is filled with a cacophony of ringing laughter, complete with a variety of trills, chortles, belly laughs, and hoots. Newcomers to the bush are often taken aback by this sound, but to most it is an amazing experience. The Laughing Jackass is known for the timing and regularity of its call.
The birds produce other calls which are different and used for other purposes. These shorter calls serve to call members of the flock, raise alarms and show aggression. Some calls are used in courtship and in feeding rituals.
Our Minnesota Hot Dish is a meat and potato lovers dream! This hot dish recipe with hamburger also has potato tots on top and veggies inside. Talk about hearty! The best part? This comforting hot dish recipe bakes up in under 40 minutes, which makes it the perfect busy weeknight dinner. (And, in case you were wondering, a hot dish is just like a casserole -- they just say "hot dish" instead of "casserole" over in Minnesota.)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (10-3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 (16-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 (32-ounce) package frozen seasoned potato nuggets