Sunday, 18 November 2007
Cassowary Babies 2007
Late in the afternoon of 15 Nov. I glimpsed a black image out of the corner of my eye as it walked past the door of my house. A week or so prior I had seen a very, old female Cassowary on the premises but it was with surprise and delight to discover our resident male with 3 young of the year. They must have been very recent hatchlings as they were tiny-about the size or slightly smaller than the average bantam. They seemed to be on their maiden walk and totally unfamiliar with their environment. In fact, they probably had not eaten before as the male had to show them food and coax them to try and eat it. The chicks have a distinct colour pattern that will change in time. In the 5 years that we have been here, we have not seen him mature 3 young. There must be some calamities—predators, accidents, parasites, which take their toll. The incredible size disparity between the male and the chicks suggests that a misplaced foot could easily crush one of the babies. On the other hand, it is touching to see how gentle he is with his young. The male will look after these young himself for many months. He usually leaves them to their own devices the following August. I’ll keep you posted as I expect them to be daily visitors over the next few months.