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.