Monday, 7 July 2008

Cassowary Calendar #8

Female Cassowary and two of the three chicks of 2008

Cassowary Calendar #8
6 May 2008

The male seems to have abandoned the three chicks and if off “Nesting” most of the time. Either the chicks seem to be completely on their own or, rarely, the female accompanies them. One can only speculate that the male is off elsewhere. He may actually be lurking not far away and “teaching” the chicks to be on their own. One way to test this would be to do something that distresses the chicks, but who would want endure the wrath of their otherwise pleasant father! The chicks often utter their “whistle” distress call and always use their typically youthful “squeaks”.

One of the chicks seems to have adopted a dominant role and chases the others. It frequently extends the neck and arches the neck in a way similar to that of the female. It even uses this approach to me!

26 May 2008
The babies are without the male now. Today the male showed up with them and was not antagonistic until after feeding. Then he ran at the chicks and they laid down on the ground in submission. He stopped immediately. When they jumped up and came towards him, he threatened again. Then the bubs got up and walked away at which time the male ran off into the woods without the bubs following. He must be sitting on eggs.

6 July
Two of the chicks stay together but they “spar” a lot. The other shows up alone but not often. Theyare often accompanied by the female who never shows any aggression towards them. Sometimes she is with the loner, at other times she is with the pair. We have see the “pair” drive off the other chick and assume that is why is does not accompany them anymore. The male shows up irregularly and is usually alone.

8 July 2008
Female still comes with tow chicks in tow. They still squeak and the female shows no aggression towards them.

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