Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers of the genus Dacelo native to Australia and New Guinea, which grow to between 28–42 cm in length and weigh around 300 g. The name is onomatopoeic of its call; the loud distinctive call of the laughing kookaburra is used as a stock sound effect in situations that involve an Australian bush setting or tropical jungle in older movies. They are found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, as well as in suburban areas with tall trees or near running water. Though they belong to the larger group known as "kingfishers", kookaburras are not associated with water; the genus Dacelo was introduced by the English zoologist William Elford Leach in 1815. The type species is the laughing kookaburra; the name Dacelo is an anagram of the Latin word for a kingfisher. A molecular study published in 2017 found that the genus Dacelo, as defined, is paraphyletic; the shovel-billed kookaburra in the monotypic genus Clytoceyx sits within Dacelo. Four species of kookaburra can be found in Australia, New Guinea, the Aru Islands.
Kookaburras are sexually dimorphic. This is noticeable in the blue-winged and the rufous-bellied, where males have blue tails and females have reddish-brown tails. Rufous-bellied kookaburra – lowland New Guinea Spangled kookaburra – Aru Islands, southern New Guinea Blue-winged kookaburra – northern Australia, southern New Guinea Laughing kookaburra – native to eastern Australia, introduced to southwestUnusually for close relatives, the laughing and blue-winged species are direct competitors in the area where their ranges now overlap; this suggests that these two species evolved in isolation during a period when Australia and New Guinea were more distant — see Australia. The single member of the genus Clytoceyx is called the shovel-billed kookaburra. Kookaburras are exclusively carnivorous, eating mice, insects, small reptiles, the young of other birds. In zoos they are fed food for birds of prey; the most social birds will take meat from barbecues. It is not advised to feed kookaburras ground beef or pet food, as these do not include enough calcium and roughage.
They are territorial, except for the rufous-bellied, which live with their young from the previous season. They sing as a chorus to mark their territory. All kookaburra species are listed as Least Concern. Australian law protects native birds, including kookaburras; the distinctive sound of the laughing kookaburra's call, which sounds like echoing human laughter, is used in filmmaking and television productions, as well as certain Disney theme park attractions, regardless of African and South American jungle settings. Kookaburras have appeared in several video games, including and at least in one short story. Olly the Kookaburra was one of the three mascots chosen for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney; the other mascots were Millie the Syd the Platypus. In William Arden's 1969 book, The Mystery of the Laughing Shadow, the laughing kookaburra is integral to the plot; the children's television series Splatalot! Includes an Australian character called "Kookaburra", whose costume includes decorative wings that recall the bird's plumage, and, noted for his distinctive high-pitched laugh.
The call of a kookaburra nicknamed "Jacko" was for many years used as the morning opening theme by ABC radio stations, for Radio Australia's overseas broadcasts. This was the basis for a book for children: Brooke Nicholls. Jacko, the Broadcasting Kookaburra — His Life and Adventures. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. Heard in some of the early Johnny Weissmuller films, the first occurrence being in Tarzan and the Green Goddess; the call is heard in The Wizard of Oz, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Swiss Family Robinson, Cape Fear, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and other films. The dolphin call in the television series Flipper is a modified kookaburra call; the call can be heard at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark in the jungle scene. "Kookaburra ", a well-known children's song written in 1932 by Marion Sinclair. "Kookaburra", by Cocteau Twins, released on their EP Aikea-Guinea "Kookaburra" by John Vanderslice on his 2007 album Emerald City The Kookaburras, an English band from the County Durham.
The lyric "... the Laughing Kookaburras call..." appears in the song "Across the Hills of Home" on the album Something of Value by Eric Bogle BFD Records and BFD Productions, which are the distributors and/or copyright holders of most of the garage rock and psychedelic rock compilation albums in the Pebbles series, have the address Kookaburra, Australia. "Well the kookaburra laughed..." appeared in the song "Old Man Emu" by John Williamson. Australian band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard features the Kookaburra's call in their songs "Doom City" from the album Flying Microtonal Banana and "All Is Known" from the album Gumboot Soup, both released in 2017. A six pence stamp was issued in 1914. A three pence commemorative Australian stamp was issued for the 1928 Melbourne International Philatelic Exhibition, A six pence stamp issued in 1932. A 38¢ Australian stamp issued in 1990 features a pair of kookaburras. An international $1.70 Australian stamp featuring an illustrated kookaburra was released in 2013.
The Izyum-Barvenkovo Offensive was a Soviet offensive operation of the Southwestern Front against part of German Army Group South during the World War II. The aim of the operation was to tie down German reserves during the Battle of Kursk and overrun the German forces located in Donbass. Soviet troops managed to cross the Seversky Donets river and seize the bridgehead, but the German counterattacks stopped the further advance; the Soviet command believed that German troops on the southern section of the Eastern Front were weakened. There were no tank divisions left in the 1st Panzer Army in this sector. Only one tank battalion remained in the reserve 17th Panzer Division. So, the South-Western Front was supposed to strike three Guards Armies and to break the German defenses. After that, the Soviet tank formations were to enter the breakthrough. In the Stalino region they were to connect with the troops of the Southern Front and, encircle German troops in Donbass. Compensating for the lack of tanks, German troops relied on their fortifications created since March 1943.
In addition, Soviet intelligence underestimated the strength of opposed infantry divisions. The Southwestern Front did not have a numerical superiority over the 1st Panzer Army, but it included many experienced Guards units. Indeed, the 8th Guards Army excelled during the defense of Stalingrad. Two armies of the Soviet Southwestern Front were not involved in the operation. 6th Army, 4th Panzer Army and Army Detachment Kempf of German Army Group South were not involved. The 23rd Panzer Division of XXIV Panzer Corps was sent towards Mius river; the Germans noticed Soviet preparations and on 14 July Hitler ordered the XXIV Panzer Corps from the reserve of Army Group South shifted back behind the 1st Panzer Army. The Soviet offensive began on July 17; the 1st and 8th Guards Armies managed to cross the Seversky Donets River, capture new bridgeheads on the right bank and advance to a depth up to 5 kilometers. However, the advance stopped there, because Soviet troops were unable to crack the defense system and so the tank units could not operate in a greater depth.
The German command used at first the reserves of the 1st Panzer Army and the XXIV Panzer Corps. Attacks of the 3rd Guards Army in the auxiliary direction were unsuccessful. In the following days there was a fierce head-on battle; the German units launched counterattacks. They did not achieve full success, but suppressed the Soviet troops and ruled out the possibility of an operational breakthrough. Both sides suffered serious losses. So, the 17th Panzer Division in a few days lost 91 officers and 2,446 soldiers, Generalleutnant Walter Schilling was killed. Opposing them, the 79th Guards Rifle Division lost 4,681 people and the division commander Batyuk died of a heart attack soon after the end of the operation. Military historian Ziemke said about Izyum-Barvenkovo Offensive along with the Mius Offensive: "Those were small battles, like so many others lost in the rush of greater events, but enormously costly for both sides." Soviet troops failed to realize the plan of the offensive, the German troops in Donbas avoid encirclement and defeat.
Soviet historiography claims that the operation shackled the German reserves necessary for the Battle of Kursk
Giovanni Baleison or Giovanni Belisoni was an Italian fresco artist, active in the Piedmont and France. He was born in Piedmont, he executed frescoes at a number of churches, including St Sebastian Churches of Venanson, Saint-Étienne-de-Tinée, Celle di Macra. He painted frescoes for the chapel of St Sebastian in the church of Santi Sebastiano e Fabiano in Marmora, Piedmont; the frescoes depict the infancy of Christ: Nativity, Adoration by the magi, plus an Apocriphal story about the Miracle of the Grain during the Flight to Egypt. There are frescoes depicting the Life of Saint Sebastian, he painted an Enthroned Madonna in the apse of the church of Santa Maria della Pieve in Beinette. Other frescoes in the church are attributed to Amedeo Albini