Historical information

The Kookaburra is a sociable bird commonly seen in small flocks. These flocks mainly consist of family members. If not in flocks, these birds are commonly seen in pairs. They have a distinct appearance with brown wings, back and brown around the eyes, with majority of the plumage being white. This species reside in woodlands and open forests, however they can be seen in parks, wetlands, farms and any other space that is open with grass. This native Australian bird can mainly be found across the eastern Australia, however they have been introduced Tasmania, South-west Western Australia and New Zealand.

Although this is a taxidermy mount, it looks exactly like a Kookaburra in real life.

This specimen is part of a collection of almost 200 animal specimens that were originally acquired as skins from various institutions across Australia, including the Australian Museum in Sydney and the National Museum of Victoria (known as Museums Victoria since 1983), as well as individuals such as amateur anthropologist Reynell Eveleigh Johns between 1860-1880. These skins were then mounted by members of the Burke Museum Committee and put-on display in the formal space of the Museum’s original exhibition hall where they continue to be on display. This display of taxidermy mounts initially served to instruct visitors to the Burke Museum of the natural world around them, today it serves as an insight into the collecting habits of the 19th century.


This specimen is part of a significant and rare taxidermy mount collection in the Burke Museum. This collection is scientifically and culturally important for reminding us of how science continues to shape our understanding of the modern world. They demonstrate a capacity to hold evidence of how Australia’s fauna history existed in the past and are potentially important for future environmental research.

This collection continues to be on display in the Museum and has become a key part to interpreting the collecting habits of the 19th century.

Physical description

This Kookaburra has a predominantly white body. The back, wings and tail are a light shade of brown. There is a strip of brown going across the eyes. This specimen stands upon a wooden branch and has an identification tag ties around its leg. This bird is stout in shape and has a medium length tail and a broad bill. This bill is darker on top and lighter in colour on the bottom.

Inscriptions & markings

W8083 /