Casuarius, hope you are well.
Nothing like formal observations. Far far too ill.
But have seen four matings in recent weeks. Eric disappeared like clockwork at mid-Winter. Is he sitting again? He was last season.
Number One is here. She is one of the chicks I tamed in 2009, one of Eric's chicks. We don't know if she has laid yet; but I saw her mating with a wild male.
Have an observation on a 'second type' of mating, involving flaring and circling, rather than the male following the female, vocalising until she kneels.
Got some thoughts on whether males 'ditch' a clutch depending on whether they have a chance to incubate in any given Winter.
Sometimes six or eight birds here in the house-clearing at present. They love the lush grass over at the old sheep-loading platform.
Both Number One and the wild birds enjoy the lilly pillies right by the house. The wild birds become so tame so quickly!
Was walking in some aisles of gums far from the house the other evening. It's just so easy now for me to find roosts, which were a mystery for years. About four or five rows into the gums, it's so easy to identify the night time blessings.
I can now differentiate different females at night from their calls. Heard a female vocalise 18 times in a 'string' a few days ago. Heard a fine conversation at about 3 am between a male and a female. But the early am female calls are regular at this time of year. Old man going getting up in the am -- turning on the farmhouse's lights -- sets them off.
Immelman was basically wrong about emus eating and drinking and moving at night. He did his observations in a German zoo. If he had travelled to real emoo country down here -- he was at a Western Australian university -- he would have learned that locals here don't see emus on moonlight nights, which would have been the clincher.
HOWEVER . . . I recently observed something unique:
it was a full-moon night on which the moon set in the west just before the sun rose in the east. It was light enough to read newspaper headlines in the house-clearing. Anyway, just 50 minutes before dawn -- I checked the clock -- Eric and 'Mrs. Grumpy' and Uno Chick were moving about in the house-clearing.
Moreover, a couple of weeks later, I audited the same 'family group' moving in the dark. These have been the only two movements of wild birds -- bear in mind the lights of the farm-house -- in seven years.
In conclusion: no formal observations for several years now; but the presence of the birds every day is a balm for the soul. Uno Chick was tamest chick I've known. Eric has been here for eight fig seasons. I can kneel, inspect a blessing, and tell you all manner of things about the bird in question.
Hope you and your birds are all well.