Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Wild Bird Wednesday 2: Southern Cassowary

Southern Cassowary are an iconic, flightless birds found in a relatively small area of Northern Queensland (plus PNG).  They grow to just under 2m tall and a large female would be pushing 60 kg.  These are, by any measure, an impressive bird.
We were walking along a board walk through some reasonably dense forest when we happened upon this female and a well grown chick.  We were just in the right place at the right time.  With a bird this think on the ground there is always an element of luck involved.   Although generally considered shy, there was no evidence of shyness in these birds.  By the time they melted back into the forest, a group of about eight people we watching them.   At one stage I had to move away from the adult bird – not because I was feeling any form of threat, but because it was too close to focus on!  These are I need to say, wild birds! 
You can see the free hanging wattles that hang from the neck and the large crown or “casque” on its head.  This casque grows as the bird matures, and you can see the base of it on the head of the young bird.
As you may well imagine I got rather excited about these birds.   We also another adult and chick cross the road in front of us later in the trip – remarkably they were crossing near a road sign of the “look out cassowary crossing” type –  what a strange coincidence.
You can find more wild birds – although possibly not ones this big! – by clicking on the links below.
Enjoy the birds.





41 comments:

heyBJK said...

Very cool and rather prehistoric looking! Great colors on the head and the crown piece looks like something from a dinosaur. I'd get excited, too!

Kristi Bowman said...

Love these crazy looking birds!!

Larry said...

Incredible shots of these amazing birds Stewart. Are they related to the Emu? I'm looking at your photos on my iPhone, can't wait to see them on a big screen!

TexWisGirl said...

funky looking things! wild!

HansHB said...

Participating also this week! Have a nice WBW!

Poetic Shutterbug said...

These are great shots with very vivid detail and color.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Like BJK said, one can easily see the linkage to dinosaurs in this bird. That head piece is impressive. Wonderful photos Stewart. Thanks for showing us this bird.

Gillian Olson said...

This is a fabulous looking bird, I agree with BJK that it looks rather prehistoric. Wonderful pictures, thank you for sharing these.

Andrea said...

Ahh, yet another bird I have never heard of. I really need to get my head out of the sand and start exploring. This bird is very interesting, beautiful in it's own way. Thank you for introducing them to me ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

EG CameraGirl said...

For sure I would be excited to come upon the birds too, Stewart. They are so unusual looking!

Kristi Bowman said...

I can't seem to link up, anybody else have trouble. http://dreamsomedesigns.blogspot.com/2012/07/wbw-red-tailed-hawk.html

NatureFootstep said...

I have trouble too. :(

http://nfbird.blogspot.se/2012/07/ejder-somateria-mollissima-common-eider.html

http://nfcrbird.blogspot.se/2012/07/white-throated-mountain-gem-lampornis.html

Gary said...

Now that's an interesting bird.Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Hilke Breder said...

Such a foreign looking bird! It seems to have escaped from a movie set!

Mama Zen said...

What an amazing bird!

Robin said...

Stewart, I'd be quite excited by this sighting too!
I have read that these guys are quite aggressive. Obviously these one's were in a different mood!

mick said...

Great photos of the Cassowary. Reading this and your other recent posts you had a good time up north despite the wet conditions.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Love the profile of the bird's head, especially the crown! They have the radiant blue of a peacock!

Irene said...

Great shots ... And thanks for hosting!

Irene

Modesto Viegas said...

Amazing bird. Great shots!!!
Thanks for sharing!

Carole M. said...

amazing birds; how wonderful to see this

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Stewart, thank you again so very much for taking on this meme, so that we can continue to share our birding efforts. I truly appreciate what each of you that take on this endeavor, afford us the opportunities to do.
Your images of the Cassoways...wow, I do not know for certain if I have ever seen images shared by anyone that I know and what a great thrill this had to have been.
I am certain that my grandson Thomas, who is 9, shall think these look like Dinosaur type birds...they really do~

Candy C. said...

I agree with Brian, very prehistoric looking and such vivid coloring! I'm glad you were able to share them with us! :)

Stewart M said...

Hi there - sorry about the lack of a thumbnail! I'll get it right next week!

Stewart M

Island Rambles Blog said...

How Weird looking it is!! Such good shots of the wonderful bird and yes I agree with BJK it looks prehistoric!! I would be excited as well to get such good captures of such a rare creature.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

You see the most interesting birds! Our birds are so boring in comparison. Lovely shots! Thanks for all the info.

NewMexiKen said...

I didn't realize that cassoraries were so colorful. Very beautiful images!

SandyCarlson said...

These birds are interesting. Your photos have introduced me to a new creature. Thanks, Stewart! What an amazing world.

Barb said...

Australia is renown for having some very imaginative critters and that is most definitely one of them. Nice pictures.

Hanne Bente said...

Beautiful "slightly" different bird, so it has never seen a bird before.
Have a good da :)
Hanne Bente

Liz said...

I think I've only seen a Cassowary once... at Australia Zoo. They are very intriguing birds. I'd love to see one in real life!!

Roan said...

Wonderful find! Agree with the prehistoric look. Although my first thought was a flashback to the beehive hairdo. Just aged myself didn't I? Excellent shots.

bailey-road.com said...

Wonderful shots, showing much detail.
What a fascinating bird - very prehistoric-looking. The casque looks hard and hornlike.

Connie said...

What marvelous photos. I just happened on to your very interesting blog and now I'm your newest follower. I just recently got a great shot of a dragonfly in my garden, come on over and see what you think. I would be honored to have you following me back. Have a great day and keep taking these incredible wildlife photos.
On a trip to Florida in February we where out in a lagoon in a 14 foot boat and ran into many alligators, one was every bit as long as our boat. I have photos in my travel archives. Looking forward to hearing from you, Connie :)

Phil said...

An impressive bird Stewart and I had it in my head they are a threatened species perhaps because of their flightlessness and human persecution in years gone by? Anyway I like your pictures but i don't think I'll get to see one anywhere soon in the uK.

Shirley said...

Oh what a beautiful bird. The colors are so vibrant. I'm glad they let you get this close. being at the right place at the right time is a wonderful moment!

Pat Tillett said...

I've seen them before, but not in the wild. Pretty impressive!

Julie Stallwood said...

Cracking shot(s)!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a cool bird! I've always thought emus and ostriches look prehistoric -- so does this bird -- but the cassowary is definitely the prettier cousin! I am hoping to shoot an Oregon bird one of these times soon.

Nature in the Burbs said...

What an interesting looking bird!

Anni said...

Wow.....these look like a bird from ancient petroglyphs you'd find drawn on cave walls. LOVE the colors, and enjoyed reading about them.