Cassowary chicks often hatch in September (rainforest fruits usually are most bountiful in spring and summer). As there is not much food for them in the wet sclerophyll forest at that time, we normally get to see the family in June/July, when the chicks are much bigger, have lost their stripes and are almost ready for life on their own.
Yesterday, though, 5 year old “Goldfinger” came by very late in the day with two small striped chicks. They are probably about 2 months old and his first offspring. He mated with “Wattle”, the alpha female in the area, in June 2019 (once even just outside our kitchen window!), but didn’t have any chicks that year.
Notice his wet feet: they had a drink from the creek not far down the track.
Tree-kangaroo joeys normally leave the pouch around September, and this season our female Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo has 2 joeys on foot: last year’s daughter and the new baby.
It is this time of the year again, when fruit in the rainforest becomes scarcer, but the wet sclerophyll forest produces many smaller berries, like Cissus grapes and Lilly Pillies, Mackinlaya and Acrotriche drupes.
Cassowaries frequent our forest almost daily in search of food and mates. May is usually the beginning of the mating season, and “Wattle”, the big female, has been hanging around lately, sometimes right outside our bedroom window, a disinterested bystander…
A few days ago, “Goldfinger”, the young male, with whom she mated last June, turned up at the same time, and ventured within 2 metres of her before becoming scared and running away.
Dad presented his 2 new chicks a couple of weeks ago. They are about 7 months old (he mated with Wattle in July) and are looking healthy and well-fed.
It is still difficult to tell them apart:
Their droppings look like a delicious dessert or off-colour pizza (to some). Brush-turkeys and pademelons like to pick through them.
Our male Victoria’s Riflebirds have been displaying daily (it is not really their breeding season, yet!). Another strange, and out of season observation: a female Scarlet Honeyeater collected nesting material.