Tarzan of the Apes – and Kookaburras

Tarzan lived in Africa and, if you watch any of the old Tarzan movies, you know what the birds of the African jungle sound like: Kookaburras calling. But even before the technological times that made it possible to create entire new worlds like the one in Avatar, movie makers mixed things up however they wanted.

Kookaburras don’t live in African jungles or anywhere else in Africa. They live in Australia and New Zealand. But their calls made for just the right “jungle” sounds for Tarzan.

Here are two samples for you and if you can listen to them without beginning to chuckle, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.” (Wait. Gunga Din wasn’t in Africa either.)  Anyway, we bet you’ll laugh.

Here is an MP3 file that lasts about a minute and is worth listening to all the way through. (Be patient. It’s very soft at the beginning.)

And here is a short video of another Kookaburra.

“Surely,” you are thinking to yourself, “they won’t do a post about Tarzan’s jungle without giving us a sample of Tarzan himself?”

Of course not.

You will find a childrens’ song about the Kookaburra here.
A sample of the lyrics? Sure.

Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree
Counting all the monkeys he can see
Stop Kookaburra, stop Kookaburra
That’s no monkey, that’s ME!!!

For more on birds down under, go here.

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4 Responses to “Tarzan of the Apes – and Kookaburras”

  1. E S Brinkley Says:

    Hi – I enjoyed this a bunch! I’m doing research on birders in the movies and wondered if you have any suggestions – especially films from the 1920s through 1940s or 1950s. Ned Brinkley

  2. Dirk Harders Says:

    Hello Paul!
    My name is Dirk Harders. I stay in North Germany and i am falconer, falconbreeder and falcontrainer the last 36 years. I am interessted to fly a Falco subnigger from Australia. Or iff it’s possible, I want to buy a pair for my breeding programm. I breed sakers and peregrines by myself. If i know yout E-mailadress, I can send you some pictures from my falcons. Best regards from Germany. Dirk

  3. Charley Says:

    I have been searching for that sound for about 7 years. It seems that recent jungle sound effect CDs do not cover this bird often. I have been through about 10 sound effect cds. I use them for my simulated jungle habitats and aquariums-Thanks

  4. Ken Says:

    Surely you mistaken. Never seen a Kookaburra on NZ

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