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Southern Cassowary

Southern Cassowary on back verandah of a house in Kuranda, Queensland
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Scientific Name: Casuarius casuarius 

Size: 1.5 to 2 metres (tall)

What does it look and sound like?

The prominent greyish casque and red wattle hanging from the neck, make the Southern Cassowary easily identifiable. The feathers of the body are black and hair-like, becoming more rufous toward the tail. The bare skin of the head and fore-neck is blue, while the hind-neck is red. The female is generally taller than the male and has a taller casque. Calls consist of a variety of guttural rumblings and grunts. 

Where is it found?

Within Australia it is confined to northern Queensland. Also found in New Guinea. 

What are its habitats & habits?

The elusive Southern Cassowary inhabits the dense rainforests, where it is uncommon and wary. 

Interesting facts

Attacks on humans have been  recorded, especially during the breeding season, June to October.

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Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

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