Uki hosts rare kooka
A UKI district woman has been playing host to a rare variation of one of Australia's most loved birds, the kookaburra.
A black kookaburra has been raiding the dog food put out by Karen Cox, of Chowan Creek, then flying back to join its normal, brown and white-breasted mate in the nearby bush.
Ms Cox says it is the first time she has ever seen a black version of the much-loved bird.
"He comes in and raids the puppy bowl. I'd say he's fairly young and he - or she - has got a mate.
"He's mostly black, although he does have some blue on him."
The Queensland Museum says it has had reports of all black or dark brown laughing kookaburras recently from Nanango and Tingalpa in Brisbane.
At Tingalpa there is even a dark brown and a black kookaburra in the same group. Since kookaburras live in extended family groups these birds are probably close relatives.
The museum's website says black or dark brown colour in birds is due to melanin, and excess production of dark pigmentation is called melanism.