An Australian man stuck at home during the lockdown took on a hobby that no one else had probably considered: He built a massive kookaburra in his front yard — complete with a laughing soundtrack — weighing around 1,600 pounds.
Dr. Farvadin Daliri, an artist from the coastal city of Townsville, Australia, started building the steel sculpture of the famous laughing bird last Christmas. With stay-at-home orders in effect, he was stuck in the city of Brisbane — about 350 miles southwest of his hometown — and used his free time to start making the giant kookaburra.
“I wanted to make something out of the ordinary to cheer us up, relieve our stress and make us optimistic,” he said.
At nearly 15 feet tall and nearly 28 feet wide, it’s become a source of amusement for Daliri’s neighbors — as well as for nearby kookaburras, who hear the familiar birdsong and flock to the giant statue.
“People just adore it,” Daliri told the Guardian. “A lot of people overlooked from the roadside and saw this huge monster sitting here and wanted to know what it is.”
This isn’t the first giant animal sculpture he’s built, nor does he plan for it to be his last. In the past, he told the Guardian, he’s built larger-than-life models of koalas and snakes. He parades them around at a cultural festival in his hometown, which he founded per the Australian Broadcasting Company.
But this is the first time his work has gone viral. His daughter, Rafaan, shared it on Twitter, where it has over 100,000 likes.
The festival is expected to occur in August, if stay-at-home orders and traveling restrictions eventually lift. If so, Daliri will drive six hours north in the last week of July, he told ABC, with his feathery friend in tow.
“We want to have the last laugh over COVID-19 with the kookaburra,” Daliri said.