Cassowary news

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Cassowary news
From: Sue & Phil Gregory <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 15:22:03 +1000
hi folks,
The breeding season for Cassowary is upon us again, the local news being that the male abandoned his 4 chicks on May 15, having been their sole guardian since we first saw them as tiny striped juveniles on Oct 29 2004. The four chicks have been hanging around since then, sometimes together but usually as a group of three and one single. What is unusual is the grace period the male has given them this time, as in previous years he has become aggressive towards them after about a week and vigorously drives them away. This year they are just about tolerated, if he comes across them he may make a token chase but nothing like the ferocious battles of previous years when flower beds and bushes were trampled. Our son was once late for school due to being baled up by the male fighting the chicks in the grounds, a novel excuse anyway. There has also been a young male coming in, colouring up quite nicely and we suspect one of the 2003 vintage as he seems to know us and is quite at home. he tries to come when the adult is not around, and has been pretty regular since April 3. The big female is also visiting regularly and is now consorting quietly with the male, which is usually the prelude to mating. Both have been in together twice now this week, tolerating a single large chick nearby yesterday so maybe the hormones are not yet at peak levels.

The wet weather since March continues, and winter is upon us with males of Victoria Riflebird visiting daily and a juvenile Black Butcherbird hanging about, out-dominated by a Helmeted Friarbird today on some bananas, which goes to show just how bossy those friarbirds are. The Red-necked Crake continues to potter about meanwhile, and Rufous Fantails, a winter bird for us, are much in evidence.
Good birding
Phil & Sue Gregory

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