A FEW years ago we decided to put some wooden nest boxes in the trees that line the back lane that runs between our house and McMahon's Reserve in Wonthaggi. Eric had a great little book about birds and the type of nest boxes they like to use. We chose a great kookaburra box in the hope that a pair of kookaburras we often saw in the area would like to make the reserve their home.
For three years we were priveleged to enjoy the comings and goings of the kookaburra families, as sometimes the previous year's chicks would be still around for the new hatchlings.
Watching the arrival of the the feeding parents was very interesting. Lizards, rats and mice and the occasional chicken appeared in the tree.
My favourite meal took place when my extended family were sitting on the deck for a barbecue lunch. I had been telling them about the comings and goings when one of the parent birds returned to the nest with the next meal: a snake about 40 to 50 centimetres long. We watched in amazement as the the poor snake was bashed to death and fed to the hungry youngsters.
Over a couple of years we were able to watch the babies sitting on our back fence and learning to fly.
Then one year they had started to nest again but were chased out by some possums that took over the box. We still have three nest boxes in the trees but the kookaburras haven’t come back.
However, this spring we have had a pair of galahs in one of the boxes and we are currently enjoying some little pink heads poking out and checking the landscape.