Southern Cassowary: Second Heaviest Bird on the Earth

Southern Cassowary: Second Heaviest Bird on the Earth

Southern Cassowary: Second Heaviest Bird on the Earth is the second largest bird on the earth. It is also known as Australian cassowary because it is mainly live in Australia. They are large flightless birds on earth. They have similarities with ostriches, rheas, and other kiwis.

Southern Cassowary: Second Heaviest Bird on the Earth
Southern Cassowary: Second Heaviest Bird on the Earth

What does southern cassowary look like?

The southern cassowary has black color feathers which are hard and prickly in appearance. It has a long blue color neck and face. The skin colors of the neck and face of these birds also change with their states of feeling. They have two red wattles which are present below the chin on the front of the neck, therefore they are known as double wattle cassowaries. They have brown casqued on their heads that are horns-like hard structures. They have slightly long black color bills. They have long thick and powerful legs with three-toed paws. The color of these powerful legs is grey.

Southern Cassowary:

Both males and females are similar in appearance but there is a slight difference between their sizes. Female southern cassowary is heavier and larger than males. She has a long horns-like structure on her head and a slightly larger bill than a male.

Where does southern cassowary live?

The southern cassowary is the heaviest flightless bird on the earth. This species of cassowary is mainly found in northeastern Australia and New Guinea. They mainly prefer to live in the southernmost regions of the island like in lowlands forested areas. Some species of southern cassowary also live in the Aru Islands, Indonesia’s Seram islands, and other Dolak.

The Southern cassowary is also found in three different colonies in Queensland Australia. There are two colonies present in Cape York and another one is present in the Wet Tropics of Queensland.

What is the habitat of a Southern cassowary?

Southern cassowaries are flightless birds as they have small wings. They mostly live solitary during nonbreeding season. They are mostly found in dense and damp rainforests. They also prefer to live in woodlands, mangroves, and melaleuca swamps. These birds also like to live in rainforests, marshlands, firth of rivers, savannahs, floodplains, and inadequate areas of woodland.

The southern cassowaries are mostly found to hunt their prey through the beaches. They also prefer to live in those areas that are present at an elevation of around 1000 m. some species of southern cassowary are also found in fruit-cultivated areas.

Where are most southern cassowaries found?

The Southern cassowaries are mostly found in Australia; therefore they are also known as Australian cassowaries. There is around 4000 species of southern cassowaries are found in Australia. They are also found in New Guinea and other Islands.

Where do southern cassowaries live at night?

The Southern cassowaries mainly live on the ground during the night.  This bird has small wings and is therefore unable to fly. Therefore, they mainly sleep on the floor of the rainforest. There are some natural predators present around these birds, but they select a safe place for sleeping.

What do southern cassowaries eat?

The Southern cassowaries are omnivores; meaning they eat both plants and animals in their diet. They mostly rely on different fruits in their diet. They will eat fruits from 75 different kinds of plants that are cultivated in the forest. Sometimes, they also feed small vertebrates and invertebrates in their diet.

What kinds of fruits do southern cassowaries eat?

The southern cassowaries eat mainly fruits in their diet. They will eat lot of fruits and 90% of their diet comes from fruits. They mainly like to eat larger fruits in their diet which have higher nutritious content. They also get these fruits from different 238 species of plants on those plantations in the forest.

They prefer to feed the fruits of various plants that belong to different families such as laurel, quandong, and podocarp are most important. They also attack the different gardens, orchards, and other crops to eat bananas and mulberries, when their natural food becomes low.

How do southern cassowaries find food?

The southern cassowaries mainly live in lower rainforests. Their main food is fallen fruit which is 90% of the diet. They can hunt their food on the lush forest floor. But, mostly they eat fruit and seeds directly through lower plants. They can jump for several feet to reach the fruit hanging on higher trees.

They have a horn-like structure known as casqued. It is use to search the fruits and different plant parts through leaves and groups of plants in the rainforest.

What do southern cassowaries eat in the winter?

In winter, the southern cassowaries eat less food due to the beginning of their incubation period. Therefore, most of the males remain for several days at their nests for the incubation process. They do not eat a lot of food during this period. Almost they eat a wide range of fruits in their diet. They have plenty of options for getting their food. They do not depend on the changing of seasons.

What do southern cassowaries eat in the summer?

During the summer, the southern cassowaries visit more trees to get their food. There are a lot of sources of food available in the summer season. They enjoy a variety of fruit in their rainforest habitat. Sometimes, they will eat small vertebrates and invertebrates such as mice, rats, frogs, small birds, and small animals. They hunt them while foraging for food on the rainforest floor.

How do Southern cassowaries breed?

The breeding season of southern cassowaries starts in winter and lasts from June to October. A large number of fruits are available to eat in winter. They feed lots of food to get more power for breeding. Males remain at their nests to incubate the eggs. They do not leave alone their nests to eat. The southern cassowaries, s females are polyandrous; they will mate more than one male.

How do southern cassowaries mate?

These are solitary birds as they like to live alone. They come close to each other during the breeding season. The male comes close to attracting his partner for mating. They also start to walk with the females. They make a specific call “boo-boo-boo” to influence their partner. They both move toward the nest the as female shows interest in mating.

They make their nests at the superficial surface of the ground which has a small depth. They mostly use the leaves and grasses in their nests to make them soften. After the mating, the male stays at his nest.

How many eggs a southern cassowary lays?

A female southern cassowary has laid around three to five eggs in a season. She will leave the nest after laying the eggs in her nest. She will make a pair or mate with more than one male. As these are polyandrous.

What are the colors of southern cassowaries’ eggs?

Different species of cassowaries lay different colors of eggs. However, the color of the eggs of southern cassowaries is green due to a pigment that is present in the shells of these eggs. Commonly, she will lay around three to five eggs during a season. The color of eggs helps protect them from predators and other birds.

How do southern cassowaries incubate their eggs?

The incubating period of southern cassowary eggs remains about 50 days, which is mostly done by the male southern cassowary. The male is responsible for incubation, as the female will leave the nest after laying eggs. She begins to mate with other males. The males are also responsible for the protection of their eggs and chicks until they become independent.

How do hatchling processes take place?

After completing the incubation period, the chicks come out through the eggs by breaking them. They remain with their father until they become independent of flying. They need the help of their fathers for about nine months which protects against any uncomfortable conditions. The young ones become mature at the age of three years.

What do baby southern cassowaries eat?

The chicks of southern cassowaries are as small as they cannot eat on their own. They are dependent on their father for food and care. They mostly like to eat fruits in their diets that contain much of essential nutrients to help them grow in a better way. They also eat the remaining diets of their fathers.

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