Kookaburra scores catch of the day in stunning Queensland photo

The kookaburra was snapped with a large reptile hanging out of its mouth.

There's no mistaking a kookaburra — their iconic 'laugh' won't allow you to.

Yet these native birds are known for other impressive characteristics too.

"They're renowned snake eaters," Professor of Wildlife Conservation Sarah Legge from Charles Darwin University told Yahoo News Australia. "They don't eat them very often but when they do it's very visible and they're really quite famous for it."

A kookaburra can be seen perched on a tree branch with a snake hanging out of its beak.
A 'brave' kookaburra was pictured with a large snake hanging from its beak. Source: Facebook/Kirk Morton

Recent sighting in Queensland

A kookaburra was spotted a few days ago in Queensland with a large snake hanging from its beak after successfully catching and killing the prey, with the bird having a unique way of doing this.

"They land and grip the snake on the heads," Sarah explained. "When they kill prey, they use their break and they flip it sideways and whack it on the ground couple of times ... The snake would be dead before it was able to process what was happening."

Kookaburras are non-discriminative with the snakes they eat, meaning the birds known for their "cheery call" are capable of overpowering some of the most venomous snakes in the world. It is believed they are able to do this thanks to certain proteins inside their blood which neutralise the toxin, rendering it harmless for consumption.

Two kookaburras can be seen holding snakes in their beaks.
Kookaburras are 'famous' for eating all different types of snakes in Australia. Source: Getty

Despite being known to snack on the occasional snake or two, even Sarah shared she was impressed by the size of the snake in the picture.

"That’s a brave choice by the kookaburra!"

The birds are known to eat a long list of animals, such as lizards, fish, rodents and insects, according to the Australian Reptile Park.

Kookaburras introduced to other areas to control snake numbers

The birds are native to eastern Australia yet their ability to eat snakes is "the main reason" why they are now found nationwide.

"They were introduced to parts of Australia where they didn't naturally occur because they eat snakes," Sarah explained, with kookaburras introduced to WA in 1897 and Tasmania as early as 1902, the ABC reports.

However, since snakes aren't a regular snack for the birds, the introductions weren't as successful as once hoped.

"They're actually not very good at controlling the numbers of snakes, they don't eat them enough to push down the population," Sarah said.

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