Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Cassowary Chatterings

Readers of this blog will know that each year we follow the progress offspring of the local pair of cassowaries.

This year three chicks appeared in early October. To date they are progressing nicely.

From their earliest days, the chicks make a variety of sounds depending on their activities.

The feeding sound is not unlike that made by a group of young chickens.

The sounds of Cassowary chicks feeding. The enthusiasm of the chortles is directly related to the quality of the food.

The Cassowary distress call.

If the chick gets out of sight of his father, who looks after the chicks for their entire young lives, it produces a sound like the above. If it is really distressed, the call is much more strident and much much louder. At no time have I ever seen the father rush to the aid of a supposedly distressed bub. (However, I have not tested this by grabbing one of the chicks!!).

Soon the father Cassowary will somehow decide that it's time for the chicks to be on the their own. He will drive them away and the distressed chicks will be heard calling throughout the rainforest.

They will just stand around calling and wondering what has come over their father. Just a day before he was a caring and protective creature and now he has completely changed.

As adults Cassowaries are generally silent. I have heard the male only make a booming sound that carries for a great distance through the undergrowth. I've not heard the female make a similar sound. Both sexes produce a sort of hiss when they are around one another.


randomtruth said...

Good stuff Dave. Have the cassowaries and your friendly amethyst python ever crossed paths?

Mr. Smiley said...

Thanks, and thanks for your help.

I've not seen the two cross paths but the way the cassowary chicks bumble about, it's hard to imagine that they have not had some contact. Don't know who would win. suspect both would be losers as the male would probably tear the python to bits.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Dave
You have raised the bar for Nature Bloggers, with your sound files.
I bought a little digital recorder ages ago, but have never worked out he uploading process and getting the sound "filed" on the Internet, to link back to, in the way that is so easy with photos.
One of these days.
The chick do indeed sound like Domestic Chickens.
The alarm call is high, and presumably penetrates through the bush, if needed.
Nice posting.

Mr. Smiley said...

Thanks Denis. It's a bit of a stiff learning curve to get the sounds onto the blog. It a;; starts with making them a video and putting it on Flickr and then downloading the HTML to the blog. Trick and time consuming but it works---and I'm a slow learner.

Please take cockroach pix for my book!!