Marty’s photos of the day #4567: This is a laughing kookaburra, photographed in Australia. Here’s what I wrote about these birds in my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents:

Though not as stunning as the kingfishers or cockatoos, laughing kookaburras are handsome gray and white birds with a very famous call: Oo-oo-oo-aw-aw-aw-oo-oo-oo-aw-aw-aw. When motion picture soundtracks were in their infancy, someone used a kookaburra’s laugh to represent the sounds of the rainforest, and ever since, directors of cheesy jungle flicks have been doing the same thing. Considering such movies are usually scripted to take place in Africa or South America, using the kookaburra’s call is, well . . . laughable. The birds are endemic to Australia.