Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Cassowary

Last Sunday I went to the Belgrade Zoo, hoping to get a peek at the new white tiger, but he (I think it is a 'he') decided he didn't want a peek at me or anyone else, and had retreated into his den.

This is one of several cassowaries that live in the zoo. It is indeed a strange -looking bird. Cassowaries are large flightless birds native to the tropical forests of New Guinea, and northeastern Australia. The Southern Cassowary is the third tallest and second heaviest living bird, smaller only than the ostrich and emu. Theories about the purpose of the strange 'casque' on their beaks include sexual attraction, a tool for battering through brush, and to enhance their deep communication calls.

"Cassowaries are very shy," says Wikipedia, "but when disturbed, they are capable of inflicting serious injuries to dogs and children."

And to curious adults, I do not know. This one was safely behind thick glass.

10 comments:

Jacob said...

Very interesting; I've heard the name but never seen one. It looks all decked for Easter with a new Easter bonnet!

Leif Hagen said...

A pretty photo of an ugly bird! Don't tell the bird I said so!

Lily Hydrangea said...

Is it just me or does he seem to have a very concerned look in his eye?

Gaelyn said...

Too bad the tiger didn't show.
This is a very unusual looking bird. Love the blue. Noticed it's lack of head feathers. Does it eat carrion?

Bibi said...

Hi, Gaelyn! Here's what Wikipedia says in answer to your question:

"Cassowaries feed mainly on fruits, though all species are truly omnivorous and will take a range of other plant food including shoots, grass seeds, and fungi in addition to invertebrates and small vertebrates."

B SQUARED said...

Kind of looks like a cross between a turkey and a peacock.

Louis la Vache said...

Well, Bibi, «Louis» learned something here today!
He never knew there is such a bird!

John McDevitt said...

Great color. Great photo. I wouldn't want to bump into this character when he was irritated.

Thérèse said...

Un drôle d'oiseau mais pas si vilain après tout...

Jilly said...

I remember seeing these running wild in Queensland. beautiful birds but goodness, yes, dangerous. Your photo is gorgeous.