To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Cassowaries
From: Phil & Sue Gregory <>
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2009 16:48:04 +1000
Just back from 3 weeks in PNG, and some great news for us here at Cassowary House Kuranda, Far North Queensland on July 29 was the reappearance of our male Cassowary with 4 tiny stripey juveniles, cute as anything and looking like giant animated mint humbugs as they scamper about. He disappeared to go on the nest in late May, after mating a number of times with the female. This male has bred every year for the past 20, with the exception of 2008 when he had two failed breeding attempts, most likely due to adverse weather conditions at the critical moment. Chick numbers have varied from a single to the more usual three and occasionally 4, though one of the 4 usually disappears quite early on. Other birds at Mission Beach and Lacey Creek have more advanced broods, though this is actually quite early for us, as October has been the traditional month for much of the last decade.

Two very large amethystine pythons were performing a mating dance of some sort along our roof eaves yesterday, the female well over 4m long, until the male lost his grip and plummeted down to the ground. Two large pythons writhing and dangling off our security light was quite a sight! Let's hope the baby Cassowaries stay well clear......

The Red-necked Crake is also showing well late afternoons, and Spotted catbirds have young already.
Good birding
Phil & Sue Gregory

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