Archive for the ‘Cassowary behaviours’ Category
This brilliant shot taken by National Geographic photographer Christian Ziegler won first prize in the nature section of World Press Photo contest, 2013, Nature, 1st prize singles, Christian Ziegler.
For over 55 years the World Press Photo contest has encouraged the highest standards in photojournalism. The contest creates a bridge linking the professionals with the general public. As the announcement of the winners makes headlines around the world, so the inspirational role of photojournalism is highlighted to an audience of hundreds of millions.
These past three months have been intensive cassowary times. Pictured above, Crinkle-Cut, our ultra-attentive Dad, announced the arrival of his new brood to some of our delighted guests, not by parading his off-spring, but by being territorial and assertive in the fan palm gallery. Our normally cool, calm and collected cassowary was assertive in ousting us from his nursery in the rainforest. We assumed that he had tiny chicks hidden somewhere that were too small and weak to be revealed. Two weeks later this turned out to be a correct assumption as proud father and children paraded before us.
Sometimes we feel as though we are intruding into private lives, but for Big Bertha and Crinkle-Cut, it’s all in a day’s work, the same old, same old….! While we were surreptitiously observing and filming, we heard a powerful snort from the adjacent jungle. Was it another male cassowary or a feral pig? We don’t know, but the two cassowaries completed their coupling before separating abruptly. Crinkle-Cut is our favourite cassowary father, gentle, diligent and keen to remain in Big Bertha’s territory. He’s been missing for a while, but now that he’s back in favour with Big Bertha, we expect to see him more frequently.
It’s easy to wax lyrical about cassowary droppings! In fact a former guest did exactly this. He wrote a poem about the importance of the cassowary to the rainforest ecosystems. The big bird’s relationship within the Daintree Rainforest and other rainforests in Tropical North Queensland has been compared to another (now-extinct) flightless bird, that was required for the germination of seeds on the island of Mauritius. As dead as a dodo. No hope of revival or resurrection, obsolete.
In an astonishing piece of good fortune, a family of cassowaries was photographed yesterday, drinking from and attempting to cross Cooper Creek, in the middle of the oldest surviving rainforest in the world. Much has been written over the years of the ‘solitary’ nature of these magnificent rainforest ratites, but clearly the cassowaries are oblivious to such academic acumen, as evidenced by this act of non-conformity.