On a slightly overcast day near Mission Beach (only a 3 hour drive North of Townsville) you may be lucky enough to see and capture a photograph of a Cassowary.
The Cassowary is a very large but flightless bird slightly smaller in size to Africa’s Ostrich.
It is a spectacular sight coming across your first Cassowary. The adult bird has glossy black feathers with a head caste (like a horny helmet) and bright red wattles hanging from its long neck with vivid blue colours on its face and neck area. It also has large claws/toes on its feet which can be used in defense if threatened by attacking dogs or wild pigs.
The cassowary colours are wonderful camouflage as this prehistoric looking bird moves through the dappled light of its rainforest home. These big birds are spectacular but scary to come across while bush walking, but rarely cause a problem to humans.
The female Cassowary lays three to five very large brightly coloured green eggs, but it is the male bird that sits on the eggs and then rears the chicks to sub adulthood.
The Cassowary is an endangered species mainly due to reduced habitat, car strike and animal attacks.
Written by Margaret Remilton.