Australia is filled with so many animals that I have never seen or heard in the wild. The laughing sound of a Kookaburra is amazing. Their noisy laughing call is one of the best known bird sounds in Australia. A mix of cackling ‘laughter’, chuckles and hoots, this famous sound is most often heard at dawn and dusk. Often given in chorus as a pair or family group, the laughing call is often given in response to neighboring group, evidently to establish territory boundaries. They make a range of other sounds including soft, croaky calls and loud bill snaps in defense. Not having a long enough lens, I couldn't photograph any, but their sounds were fantastic to hear, and sometimes deafening. You can search on the internet to find how they sound. It's worth it.
Visiting the Koala Conservation Centre on Phillip island was such a treat. According to their sign, koalas are under a significant threat from habitat loss, road mortality, they don't move very fast, dog attacks and a infection called chlamydia, which is a disease that even treated with antibiotics only 50% survive. Even so the main threat is habitat destruction. The population of koalas over the last 200 years has plummeted by approximately 90%. As of 2022 they have been listed as an endangered species. Koalas live in the aromatic eucalyptus forests, and most of the time in the very top. We were lucky enough to see them fairly at eye level due to the risers of the Conservation Centre.
Koalas have large round heads, big furry ears and a big black nose. Their fur is usually a grey-brown color with white fur on their chest, ears, inner arms and bottom. Queensland koalas are smaller than the ones we saw in Victoria. This male probably weighed close to 26 pounds. They have poor eyesight, but an excellent nose for smelling predators. I almost walked out of the gift store with a huge stuffed toy koala, because they are so cute. I decided my multitude of photographs were good enough!
The larger koala is a male, the smaller one is a much younger female, that did not want any sexual advances from the older male koala!
Located 90 minutes from Melbourne, but I would suggest staying on Phillip Island to not only see the koalas, but experience the Penguin Parade...can't take any photos there to protect the penguins, but it is an awesome experience.
The last photo is of the female we saw walking by us as we stood on the elevated, treetop boardwalks through the Australian bushland. What a treat!
All photographs taken with a Nikon Z6II and either a Z S 24-120mm or a Z 24-200mm lens. It's cheap and lightweight!
Detroit People & Commercial Photographer