Northern Cassowary: Heaviest Bird on the Earth

Northern Cassowary: Heaviest Bird on the Earth

Northern Cassowary: Heaviest Bird on the Earth, Northern cassowaries are the largest flightless birds that are mostly found in New Guinea. It is also known as single-watt led cassowary, one-watt led cassowary, and also golden-necked cassowary. It is also a highly discovered species of cassowary. The weight of these birds is between 25 to 50 kg. When they reach maturity, they have a height of almost 2 m.

Northern Cassowary: Heaviest Bird on the Earth
Northern Cassowary: Heaviest Bird on the Earth

What does Northern cassowary look like?

An adult northern cassowary has black feathers that are hard and stiff. Whereas, the young northern cassowary has brown feathers. These feathers are shiny and smooth. They have black colored casqued on the top of their heads. It has a slightly shorter bill. They have long necks that colored is blue which is the most striking feature of these birds. It has a red wattle under the beak. This species of cassowary has only one wattle under its neck. They have long and powerful legs. Both the males and females are similar in appearance.

Where does a Northern Cassowary live?

Northern cassowaries are less populated species than the southern cassowaries. They have a smaller range than their neighbor’s species. They mainly live in the north and west parts of New Guinea. There are also some species of cassowary found in Salawarti, Yapen Island in Indonesia.

Northern cassowary mainly prefers to live in lowland habitats such as lowland forests. They also rely on tropical and terrestrial habitats for their living. Sometimes, they are found on beaches in search of food. They like to live in woodland, swamps, rainforests, savannahs, among the river and other floodplains. They also prefer to live at elevations of 490 m but it occurs rarely.

the source is BBC Earth

What do Northern cassowaries eat?

Northern cassowaries are frugivorous. They like to eat both fruits and small animals in their diet. They will eat different kinds of fruits and berries to meet their hunger. They also eat small animals such as frogs, snakes, mice, rats, and lizards and also sometimes eat small birds as their diet. Some small insects and snails are also included in their food.

What do Northern cassowaries eat in the wild?

In the wild, the primary diet of these birds is fruits. They like to eat fleshy fruits and berries in their diet. Around 90% of species of northern cassowaries depend on such kind of diet and also forage them from the rainforest floor.

When the fresh fruits are too short to complete their requirements, they tend towards small animals such as mice, rats, frogs, fungi, snakes, and lizards to eat. Sometimes, they also eat small birds and their eggs.

What do Northern cassowaries eat in captivity?

In captivity, northern cassowaries are mainly fed a diet that is similar to their natural diet. There are large quantities of these fruits are offered to them which are supplemented by protein, vitamins, and other minerals.

You can also offer them some alternative foods such as worms and insects and also some vegetables like sweet potato, peas and another carrot to eat.

How do Northern cassowaries find their food?

Northern cassowaries mainly prefer to live in rainforests and lowland forests. Therefore, they mainly find fallen fruits by moving on the forest floor. They also get them directly from low-growing plants. Sometimes, they are found jumping for several feet to get these fruits through the trees.

It has a casqued on its head that helps search for edible fruits and different parts of plants through the leaves and floor of rainforest. It is known as an important tool in finding food. They always move alone in search of food. You also observed that a group of these birds are present at the spot where food is available in large quantities.

What do babies of Northern cassowaries eat?

The babies of northern cassowaries require such kind of diets that provide extra protein supplements. They need protein-containing supplements that help them in their growth during the first few months of their life. Therefore, they eat large quantities of fruits and seeds. They learn very quickly to forage from their diet.

How do Northern cassowaries breed?

The breeding season of northern cassowaries starts from June to November. They are normally shy birds and remain solitary from each other. They only get close to each other during the mating season. Females are polyandrous; meaning they can mate with more than one male.

How they are mating?

As breeding season starts, males become less aggressive toward each other. They begin to attract the females for mates by dancing around them. He also is swelling his neck by moving around her partner. He will continue to attract partners with his specific styles. When he succeeds in convincing the female to mate, he performs the mating process.

How many eggs a female lays?

Northern cassowary females are polyandrous, as they will mate with more than one male. A female lays an average of 4 eggs per clutch and depositing with the male. She will leave the nest to make mating with other males. She will mate with about 4 males in a season. They will also lay more eggs if you collect the eggs immediately from the nest after lying. This way you increase the number of eggs that is around 20.

During a breeding season, a female can produce 16 eggs per male. They move to several other males’ nests to mate. These eggs are large and have greenish-blue colors. These eggs are incubated only by males.

How do Northern cassowaries incubate their eggs?

Female northern cassowaries are not involved in the incubating process, because they will leave the nest after depositing their eggs in the nest of the male. They are also driving off by different after laying a group of eggs.

Only males are involved in the process of incubating. They also protect their eggs until the chicks are hatchling. They have an incubation period which lasts around 47 to 60 days. During this period, males remain in their nests to care for their eggs.

Hatchling of chicks:

At the end of the incubating period, the chicks are hatching through eggs. It remains around for forty-seven to sixty days. Chicks come out from the eggs. They remain under the care of their fathers for at least 9 months. During this period, they learn from their fathers how to find food and take care of themselves.

How long do chicks stay with their parents?

After hatching, young chicks remain under the care of their parents for around 9 months. The males become aggressive toward other males during the care process of their chicks. They will leave the nest and become independent before the new breeding season starts.

Northern Cassowary: Heaviest Bird on the Earth
Northern Cassowary: Heaviest Bird on the Earth

At birth, the chicks have brown marked plumage with lightly blue skin. They have long legs which are pale yellowish. The casqued-like structure is not present on their heads at the time of birth.

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