Baby Emus on the Hay Plains
In my posting yesterday here I mentioned that we recently went on a road trip to Sydney to help out our family living there. At a distance of just over 1300km it is a significant journey to undertake, fully two days of travelling. We’ve done this journey many times over the last 15 years, and now we have the incentive of visiting our only grandchildren in the process.
Because the journey takes up most of the two days there are few opportunities for birding along the way – except from the car while speeding along at over 100kph. It always delights me when I see something special, like the Banded Lapwings yesterday. I usually make a list of the species seen along the way.
One bird species I always look for in the early stages of the trip is the Emu. The western plains of NSW are good habitat for this species and we usually see one or two small flocks. On this occasion we saw two separate groups, the second one being a male adult bird accompanied by about 4 or 5 half grown chicks, a little bigger than those shown in the photo above. This photo was taken some time ago in Monarto Zoo which is close to our home, being only about a 15 minute drive away.
Aren’t they gorgeous?
And they can really scoot along at speed when they feel in danger.
Are Emus like Ostriches – where the male has a harem of females and then ends up guardian of all the eggs and young?
The male emu does not have a “harem” of females, but he is the one who incubates the eggs while the female will often go off and mate with another male. Meanwhile, the male will look after the chicks for up to 18 months, sometimes joining forces with another male and a large “creche” of chicks.