When Phil Gregory (Australia), Terry Stevenson (Kenya), or Mitch Lysinger (Ecuador) attends the Field Guides business meeting, it’s always a challenge for any of the rest of us who live in plain old North America to compete in the best yard bird contest. Take, for example, this big female Southern Cassowary; she’s a garden bird at Cassowary House, the lodge Phil and his wife, Sue, operate in far north Queensland, Australia. According to Phil, she’s been coming for about ten years now, entirely on her own schedule.
The female cassowary lays several eggs, but it is the male of the species that incubates those eggs and cares for the chicks for nine months or so. The male of this pair is also a regular visitor at Phil and Sue’s, and he sometimes brings the chicks along. Phil says that it’s a real treat to see the brown-striped chicks pestering the big male for food morsels-and maybe just for some of his attention. And it’s a sight we always hope for on our Australia and New Guinea & Australia and Northern Australia tours.