My Future


Dad and Baby Cassowary

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Dad and Baby Cassowary

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There’s a rustle in the leaves overhead in the rainforest while in the shadows below I reach closer to dad, my protector. A black and white painting of an Australian iconic bird.

Between June and August, the male builds a flat dish of leaves, grass and sticks on the forest floor or among grass at the forest edge, using the same nesting site over many years. Into this nest, the female lays from three to five large, glossy, pale pea-green eggs, each weighing about 600 grams. The male sits on them for about 50 days, rarely eating or drinking. Hours after hatching, the brown and buff striped chicks can walk and feed themselves, but the male protects them for nine months or more. The chicks that survive mature at two to three years and can live as long as 40 years.

The southern cassowary is one of Australia’s most imposing birds – large, colourful, and flightless. It is found only in the dense tropical rainforests of north-east Queensland. Continuing clearing and fragmentation of rainforest, and increased mortality from cars and dogs have reduced cassowary numbers to perhaps as few as around 2000, threatening the species with extinction.

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