Avid bird watchers across Australia have their eyes peeled after an amateur photographer snapped a rare black kookaburra in his backyard.
Mike – who resides in Manjimup, about 300km south of Perth – told the ABC he spotted the beautiful bird while looking out his kitchen window. It’s believed to be the first sighting ever of a black kookaburra in Western Australia.
Knowing he might not have the chance to see it again, Mike grabbed his camera and managed to snap a shot before the kookaburra flew away.
The oddly coloured bird has sparked plenty of chatter among bird watchers across Australia, especially those in Western Australia who are excitedly on the lookout for the rare kookaburra.
There are only two recorded sightings of a black kookaburra in Australia, one in Brisbane and another in Sydney. Black and albino birds are said to be a result of a genetic mutation, with reports of pelicans and magpies also displaying the rare colouring.
However, it is the black birds that are classed as more uncommon than the their albino friends.
It’s the second rare bird sighting in recent months to excite the bird-watching community. Late last year, wildlife photographer Andrew Fusek Peters snapped the tiny Shropshire owl on a farm in England, with the photo of the rare and adorable owl making its way into some of the biggest news sites in the world.
While some owls can measure as big as 71 centimetres, the teeny-tiny Shropshire owl comes in at just 21 to 23 centimetres, making it very difficult to spot in the wild. Andrew, who was working for the National Trust and Natural England in the UK to record images of species and landscape, told the Daily Mail he’d staked out a farm in the English county for days before he managed to catch a glimpse of the owl.
“They live up to their name – they are little owls. So they are hard to spot at the best of times, but this one had craftily sat on the top of an old farm building where its colours blended right in,” he said.
“It took a couple of visits and a lot of patience but it was well worth it to get the pictures of it. I was over the moon.”