Northern Cassowary

Northern Cassowary

Casuarius unappendiculatus

Vulnerable

Boasting a striking blue neck and brilliant red wattles, the Northern Cassowary is a remarkable resident of New Guinea's dense rainforests. As one of the world's largest bird species, this captivating creature navigates through the lush tropical vegetation, its glossy black plumage and solitary habits making it an intriguing figure within the region's diverse bird population.

Appearance and Identification

Males and females have similar plumage

Primary Color

Black

Primary Color (juvenile)

Brown

Secondary Colors

Blue, Red

Secondary Colors (female)

Secondary Colors (juvenile)

Black, White

Secondary Colors (seasonal)

Wing Color

Black

Wing Color (juvenile)

Brown

Beak Type

Long

Beak Color

Black

Beak Color (juvenile)

Grey

Leg Color

Grey

Leg Color (juvenile)

Grey

Distinctive Markings

Bright blue neck, red wattles

Distinctive Markings (juvenile)

Striped pattern

Tail Description

Short, non-distinctive

Tail Description (juvenile)

Short, non-distinctive

Size Metrics

120cm to 150cm

Length

40cm to 50cm

Wingspan

17kg to 30kg

Weight

Photos

Click on an image below to see the full-size version

Vocalization and Sounds

Primary Calls

Low booming sound

Call Description

Low frequency, can travel long distances through dense forest

Alarm Calls

Hissing sound

Behavior and Social Structure

Daily Activities

Mostly solitary, forages for food during the day

Social Habits

Largely solitary, males and females meet only for mating

Territorial Behavior

Highly territorial, especially during breeding season

Migratory Patterns

Non-migratory

Interaction with Other Species

Occasional interactions with other bird species, but mostly solitary

Diet

Primary Diet

Fruit, Insects, Fungi

Feeding Habits

Forages on ground for fallen fruit and small animals

Feeding Times

Early morning and late afternoon

Prey Capture Method

Pecking and swallowing

Diet Variations

Diet varies with season and fruit availability

Special Dietary Needs (if any)

None known

Nesting

Nesting Location

Ground nest

Nest Construction

Shallow depression lined with leaves

Breeding Season

Between June and October

Number of clutches (per breeding season)

One

Egg Appearance

Bright green-blue

Egg Size

Approximately 9cm x 14cm

Clutch Characteristics

3-5 eggs

Incubation Period

Around 50 days

Fledgling Period

Approximately 9 months

Parental Care

Male incubates eggs and cares for chicks

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

New Guinea and surrounding islands

Habitat Description

Tropical rainforest

Elevation Range

Sea level to 3300m

Migration Patterns

Non-migratory

Biome

Tropical rainforest

Climate zones

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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