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Eat Your Hearts Out!

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by briefvisit, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. briefvisit

    briefvisit Songster

    Nov 9, 2013
    Eric plus nine. Two days ago. Here in the house-clearing. So, you can see a shed, but the birds are wild.

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    How old would you guess they are ? Clicked on additional pictures - good stuff, and yes Joe Biden is a good guy.
  3. briefvisit

    briefvisit Songster

    Nov 9, 2013
    Morning, Sourland. Figuring their age is not actually difficult. It goes like this here in Oz, where the timetable is Nature's:

    1. breeding-pairs begin staking out territory in autumn
    2. by early winter, if you're observing, the pair is playing at nest-making.

    [Got a bunch of wild birds here at present, gurking and skirmishing around the edge of the house-clearing]

    3. incubation begins almost smack in the middle of winter (preceded by about ten days of mating and egg-laying. We have great observations of all this).
    4. chicks hatch 7 weeks later. (there are surely variations in this schedule for one reason or another, but this is The Great Cycle)
    5 Dad hits the trail with them (that is, I don't get to observe them.)

    6. If I'm lucky, Eric cruises through some time later. It's apparent that all emus hold very substantial 'memory maps' in their heads, and part of it is taught by Dad: permanent water, lilly pillies, fruit here, good general pastures, etc.

    7. at about 12 weeks -- one season -- the chicks start passing from the striped fatty-bottom-waddle stage to my favourite stage, 'black head.' That's where Eric's chicks are right now. Here are some photos from the vaults:

    Here's the photo that I first posted. Sorry, it's rubbish. But you can see the beginnings of the chicks' toosh feathers, and that they've lost their baby stripes. These chicks are about 10-12 weeks old. [You can also see the dark spots on the right side of Eric's neck, which are his primary indentifying marks: you identify tame-wild birds by physical marks and personality.

    This is Alpha and Omega. They're perhaps just 8-9 weeks, just on the verge of black head.


    This is a black-head chick, Uno Chick . They're fun at this stage because they start to have personality.


    This is a chick at about 8-9 months (it's Uno), just about when Dad deserts them, to seek a new female.

    And for the record, this is what a healthy wild chick looks like at this point: still literally black head, but full toosh feathers, and a full coat --
    winter's coming -- of adult feathers[​IMG]

    Its gait should be sprightly, really splendidly light and fast on its feet. [No disrespect, but so many of the videos of captive birds show them plodding stolidly along beside a fence.]

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016

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