The name kookaburra comes from the Wiradjuri word guuguubarra which is based on the bird’s distinctive sound.
Native to Australia and New Guinea, there are five species of kookaburra – four of which are found in Australia, but only three on the mainland. Contrary to popular belief, you generally won’t see kangaroos jumping down suburban Australian streets, but it is more common to find a kookaburra perched in a tree in the back garden.
The kookaburra’s call is a sound synonymous with Australia and is often used in film-making and television production, regardless of the setting. If you listen closely, you will hear its call in movies such as The Wizard of Oz and Raiders of The Lost Art.
The emu may appear on Australia’s Commonwealth Coat of Arms, but it is the kookaburra that is popular in tattoo culture. A kookaburra tattoo might evoke memories of your trip to Australia, act as a memory of home if you’ve moved overseas, or even a simple reminder to laugh more.
Pick your tattoo artist wisely and avoid the likelihood of people cackling at a terrible kookaburra tattoo!
Neo trad kookaburra tattoo by @tillydee
Neo trad kookaburra tattoo by @jamienicoltattoo
Traditional wattle and kookaburra tattoo by @tatt2andrea
Traditional kookaburra tattoo by @rafen_
Traditional kookaburra tattoo by @jakeowenfraser
Cute neo trad kookaburra and watermelon tattoo by @bklynbeee
Neo trad kookaburra tattoo by @clareclarity
Illustrative kookaburra tattoo by @jacklesdouglas
Bold traditional kookaburra tattoo by @blombergsuspiria
Kookaburra tattoo by @tattoosbyharry
Traditional kookaburra and wattle tattoo by @suziq70
Traditional kookaburra tattoo by @mattandersontattooer
Traditional kookaburra tattoo by @bethlinatattoo
Neo trad kookaburra tattoo by @ebony_mellowship
Neo trad kookaburra tattoo by @adamgalictattoos
Illustrative neo trad kookaburra tattoo by @melaniemilnetattoos
Traditional kookaburra and pigeon tattoos by @beccagennebacon