Dromaius novaehollandiae

Least Concern

The Emu, an iconic giant of the Australian outback, stands tall with its shaggy, brown plumage and long, powerful legs. This flightless bird, second in height only to the ostrich, roams the diverse landscapes of mainland Australia, from arid deserts to lush forests. Known for its curious nature and impressive, booming call, the emu is a symbol of resilience and adaptability, playing a vital role in the cultural and natural heritage of its homeland.

Appearance and Identification

Males and females have similar plumage

Primary Color


Secondary Colors

Black, Grey, Light Blue

Secondary Colors (female)

Secondary Colors (juvenile)

Secondary Colors (seasonal)

Wing Color


Beak Type

Flat Broad

Beak Color

Dark Grey

Leg Color

Dark Grey

Distinctive Markings

Double-shafted feathers. Females are heavier than males, appear slightly darker and have brighter blue colouring on the facial skin, otherwise, mostly similar in appearance

Tail Description

Almost absent

Size Metrics

150cm to 190cm


16cm to 25cm


30kg to 55kg



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Vocalization and Sounds

Primary Calls

Drumming, grunting or booming

Call Description

Deep drumming or grunting sound, male emus can make a resonant booming sound

Alarm Calls

Loud hissing

Behavior and Social Structure

Daily Activities

Diurnal, spends the day foraging, preening and resting

Social Habits

Nomadic, often solitary but may form loose flocks

Territorial Behavior

Not highly territorial but may defend resources

Migratory Patterns

Nomadic movements in response to food availability

Interaction with Other Species

Generally peaceful, may interact with other species at waterholes


Primary Diet

Plants, Insects, Grains

Feeding Habits

Forages at ground level, pecking at food

Feeding Times

Mainly early morning and late afternoon

Prey Capture Method

Pecking and picking with beak

Diet Variations

Opportunistic feeder, diet varies with habitat

Special Dietary Needs (if any)

Requires high fibre content


Nesting Location

On the ground, in a shallow depression

Nest Construction

Simple structure, lined with grass and leaves

Breeding Season

Varies by region, usually after rainfall

Number of clutches (per breeding season)

Two to three per season

Egg Appearance

Large, dark green

Egg Size

13cm x 9cm

Clutch Characteristics

5-15 eggs, laid over several days

Incubation Period

Approximately 56 days

Fledgling Period

5-6 months

Parental Care

Males incubate and care for chicks

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

Mainland Australia

Habitat Description

Variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and arid regions

Elevation Range

Up to 1000m

Migration Patterns

Nomadic movements in response to food availability


Grassland, Forest, Desert

Climate zones

Temperate, Subtropical, Tropical

Distribution Map

Please note, this range and distribution map is a high-level overview, and doesn't break down into specific regions and areas of the countries.

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