Emus bathing on a hot day

To: Euan Moore <>
Subject: Emus bathing on a hot day
From: Gary Wright <>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 23:09:06 +1030
Hi Euan

I can't remember the year but I saw emus in dams in Channel Country near
Lochern National park.  The weather was extremely hot-in the 40's.
Our dog started swimming at that time due to the extreme heat-previously
she had been shy of water. The emus were submerged with head sticking out,
appearing to be cooling down

On 19 December 2012 15:22, Euan Moore <> wrote:

> I have been going through a series of movie clips from our wildlife
> monitoring camera.  It was set up at the edge of a small dam on our
> property
> in western Victoria.
> Emus were making daily visits  to the dam, mainly to drink but on some
> visits they got right into the water.  This involved flopping down so that
> their bodies were almost completely submerged.  At times they would roll
> over with legs going in all directions.  There would occasionally be some
> preening while in the water.  After some time in the water they would stand
> up, sometimes shake like a shaggy dog and leave the water.  For the next
> few
> seconds there would be a cascade of water dropping from their very
> non-waterproof feathers.
> It could be a way of getting rid of vermin.  The other possibility is that
> they were cooling down as the incidents happened around the middle of the
> day when temperatures would have been in the high 30s.  I've heard of emus
> swimming to cross rivers but this was deliberate bathing.
> The nearest alternative water supply was another farm dam about 1.5km away
> on a neighbouring property.
> I have never seen this sort of behaviour before and wonder how common it
> is.
> One of the advantages of the camera is that we get to see things that we
> would not see if we were physically present.
> Euan
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