Something interesting happened at my home recently. Where I live, in a hillside suburb, I am lucky to be surrounded by a lot of trees, and even luckier that those trees are home to a variety of birds. One of those birds is called the laughing kookaburra. It is actually a big kingfisher, but that doesn't mean that it lives just on fish. In fact, I don't know that it eats fish at all. It certainly does like to catch snakes and lizards in its strong and powerful beak.

The kookaburra's head and chest are white whereas its wings and back are rusty brown with blue tinges along the edges of its wings. If I put out scraps of meat on a feed tray the kookaburras fly down to eat them and, at times, land on my arm to eat from my hand. However, I think the thing I love most about the kookaburras is the way that they laugh at sunset. My bird book describes their call as a "loud chuckling laugh." Often they laugh in chorus with each other so that their merriment ripples around the twilit trees a bit like the "wave" the fans do at a sporting event. I believe they do this to establish the boundaries oftheir territory at night. How wonderful it would be to laugh yourselfto sleep every night.

I mention kookaburras because of something interesting that happened at my home recently. I was inside my home when there was a loud bang against a window. I walked out the door and around the veranda to see what had happened. A kookaburra was sitting on the wooden floorboards of the veranda, looking extremely stunned after having flown into the window. It must have seen the reflection of the trees and thought it was continuing to fly through the woods when it hit the glass and came to a sudden halt. What a frightening shock to be flying freely through the air, then sudden stopped in your tracks by something you hadn't even seen coming. As I stood back a little distance, wondering what to do, the stunned kookaburra shook its head, raised its beak in the air, opened its mouth, and burst out into a loud, hearty laugh. I thought what a wonderful thing it would be to learn how to lift your head up and laugh after such a frightening surprise.

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