Soi jthern Cassowary

I his sturdily built, heavy, flightless bird lives in rain forests among thick, tropical vegetation. Its feathers are coarse in texture, and some end in long, hairlike filaments. The wings are tiny, and in place of flight feathers they carry only a few quills. The bare skin on the head and neck, and the wattles that hang from the neck, are colored red and blue-in a pattern that varies with age. On top of the head there is a hornlike casque that may give protection when the birds dash with lowered heads through dense vegetation, as they frequently do when alarmed. The bill is narrow and is normally used for feeding on fallen fruit, and sometimes on green plants, seeds, and some small animals. This species utters a variety of calls, including deep booms, roars, hisses, and low, rumbling sounds. Individuals live alone much of the time. The female is slightly larger than the male, with brighter head and neck colors and a slightly taller casque. When breeding, a female sometimes pairs with more than one male, laying a clutch of eggs for each. The downy chicks are boldly striped and are cared for by the male lor the first nine months of life.

• NliST A shallow hollow in the leafy floor of the forest, sometimes sparsely lined with grass and fallen leaves.

» Distribution

Rain forests in New Guinea and N.E. Australia. • remark The large, bladelike claw on the outer toe is used in aggressive fights.

• wing feathers reduced to quills scaly still nil leg


Speaes ßronMjus novaehoUandiae Len8,h 83 in (210 cm)


Speaes ßronMjus novaehoUandiae Len8,h 83 in (210 cm)

Fkmai.k coarse, • drooping feathers distkihl 'non strong, heavy feet

• sparse feathering on the neck iniicli reduced wing

Plumage Scxcs .lifter slightly

Habitat tit >*■ Mlefalion Non-migrant"

A large, flightless bird, the Emu lives in a variety ofopen-country habitats, ranging from semidesert to grassland and open woodland. Its wings are very small and are usually hidden in its long, loose, shaggy feathers. Females are slightly larger than males and have stronger blue coloration on the bare skin of the head and neck. The Kmu can run at up to 30 mph (48 km/li), though it normally walks. Pairs or small parties feed on plants including grasses, also taking insects. The call is low and booming. Males incubate the eggs and care for the striped, downy chicks.

• NEST A slight hollow in the ground, either bare or lined with trampled-down vegetation.

• Distribution

Australia, except for the wetter coastal areas and thick forests.


• sparse feathering on the neck coarse, • drooping feathers iniicli reduced wing distkihl 'non strong, heavy feet

Plumage Scxcs .lifter slightly

Habitat tit >*■ Mlefalion Non-migrant"


Spccies i\p,eryX auslralis

Length in (70 cm)

Brown Kiwi

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