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(VIDEO) Meet ZooMontana's kookaburra

Posted at 2:35 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 16:36:57-04

MISSOULA — It's time to introduce you to this week's special guest from ZooMontana -- a kookaburra.

"So, what happens is when these guys eat they like to eat soft food they like to tenderize their meat like we do when we have a steak," explained ZooMontana executive director Jeff Ewelt.

"So, what they're going to do is they're going to take the cockroach, lizard, steak -- whatever it is. They're eating they're going to take it to a nearby rock or branch and they're going to beat the tar out of it. It softens it up and makes it easy for them to swallow it down," he added.

The kookaburra then swallows its food whole.

"And like an owl or a bird of prey, what's going to happen is these kookaburras are going to spit up a pellet so that exoskeleton of that cockroach is going to barf up tonight and we are going to find it in the bottom of her house tomorrow, and it's all of the things she doesn't want to digest," Ewelt said.

"These guys are kingfishers. They're the largest member of the kingfisher family," he explained. "They're from Australia. We have kingfishers here in Montana not quite this big."

"So, these guys laugh and that's why they're called laughing kookaburras. because they laugh and have this sort of silly sound to them. In fact, they're called the bushman's alarm clock in Australia because they literally laugh at like six o'clock in the morning," Ewelt concluded.

Click here to learn more about Winston and all of his friends at ZooMontana. The zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with the last admission at 4 p.m. ZooMontana is located off of the Zoo Drive exit of Interstate 90 in Billings.