Nueva Guinea has many species of birds, but very few can compare with the wonderful Rufous-bellied Kookaburra. You’ve never heard of her before? Well, get ready, because you’re gonna love it.
What is its area of distribution?
It is known as Dacelo gaudichaud in the scientific community as a species of coraciform bird of the halcyonidae family. It is endemic to New Guinea and the surrounding islands. It was named after Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupré.
It is widely distributed in the lowland forests of New Guinea and can also be found on the surrounding islands such as the Aru, Yapen, Batanta, Gam or Waigeo Islands. In recent years it has also been found on the island of Saibai, in Apesstralia.
How could you recognize it?
It is a slightly smaller specimen than the rest of its family members, measuring 28 cm in length and 143 grams. It presents a slight sexual dimorphism, as males have a blue tone in their tails that do not have females or younger specimens.
Most of its head is black, except in a white postocular list. It has a strip around the neck that is also white. The area of his chest and belly are reddish-brown in colour, and his beak is whitish in colour. Unlike other kookaburras, this one has a totally dark beak, except when they are young, which is greyish in colour.
Some infertile hybrids of this species have been registered with those of other kookaburras, although recent genetic studies have shown it to be the most genetically distant from the rest of their relatives.
Want to know more about their behavior?
This is a rare species, although it is not on the IUCN Red List. It lives in jungle areas with dense vegetation, while other kookaburras prefer more open spaces. They do not usually live in groups, but live alone or in pairs. They are often seen in areas with abundant perches in the jungle, from where they monitor the environment to detect their prey so they can jump on them and catch them before they escape.
The feeding of this species is usually large insects, but it can also consume some small vertebrates, such as rodents. You do this less often than other members of your family. Also, due to its small size it can be intimidated by birds a little older than them. Males are quite aggressive when it comes to defending the territory.
The breeding season usually takes place between May and October, although young people can do so around the month of February. They usually do only one laying a year. The female will build her nest on a mound of termites and lay between two and five eggs (although only two are normal). Incubation may last between 20-35 days. The length of stay of young people can vary. However, unlike other kookaburras, young individuals do not stay to help raise another generation of Rufous-bellied Kookaburra.