Kakadu National Park

Blue-winged kookaburras are common in Kakadu’s woodlands. Their raucous calling to ward off rivals can be heard at sunrise and sunset.

What it looks like

The male has bright light-blue plumage on its wings and tail, while the female only has blue on its wings. The blue-winged kookaburra is smaller than its cousin, the laughing kookaburra.

Where to see it

You’re likely to find the blue-winged kookaburra perched in trees in Kakadu’s woodlands, paperbark swamps and wetland fringes, as well as around the Jabiru township.

Its large size and bright colours make it a great bird for beginners to spot.

Look for it at Mardukal near Cooinda, or at nearby Yellow Water (Ngurrungurrudjba), particularly in the paperbark trees near the walkway at the water’s edge. You might also spot it at Kubara in the Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) region.

If you are in Kakadu for cool-season burning (the bangkerreng and yekke seasons from April to June), you might see this bird snatching insects that have been flushed out by the fires.


A family of blue-winged kookaburras can nest in the hollow trunk of the same tree for up to 15 years.

Other names

  • Scientific name: Dacelo leachii