Emu sexing by sound

hen house girl

In the Brooder
6 Years
Dec 9, 2013
20
2
26
I have just acquired an 8 year old emu, I was told it was a male. I soon started to read more and more about these birds and that males grunt and females boom. My emu make a drumming noise when I'm close almost like its nervous or scared sometimes, then make a noise we can hear in the house it sounds like someone with a car stereo with the base turned up. I told the women I thought it was a female because of the noise it makes, she says that the vet said female emus are aggressive and both sexes make similar sounds? She also is saying that the owner before her had it DNA tested and it was with a female emu that laid eggs. Can a male emu make booming noises? I have never heard any grunting. Help?
 
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briefvisit

Songster
7 Years
Nov 9, 2013
1,036
1,068
246
Hey, Hen House Girl!! Deep breath: we can solve the mystery for you:

One: both males and females make 80% of all eeeemoo noises. Sometimes you need to watch a pair for hours before you can tell them apart..

Two: however, the female has a 'vocal sac' in her chest. A 'classical' female noise/stance is:

she may 'flare' her feathers -- puff up her chest. You may see her chest actually sticking out. (I am privileged to stroke Felicity, a tame-wild emu, and you can actually feel the 'balloon' under her feathers.)

She may crouch just a little. She may do a 'swan thing' with her neck -- pull head back and down a little.

Then she will emit a string of absutely unmistakeable 'booms.' At night, if the nesting female is close, they pulse right through the house. A male can be noisy, but there is no mistaking a female's boom.

Note: I have looked and looked on Youtube, but I can't find a good recording of a female. I have a GREAT recording of a female on my phone -- but I can't upload it.

Note: both males and females can be plenty aggressive. Against other birds. Not usually against people.


Here is a fine photo of a female booming (It's Felicty, when she was 'commanding' here in 2012)

SE
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/641934/lightbox/post/9540103/id/5286642

SE
 
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briefvisit

Songster
7 Years
Nov 9, 2013
1,036
1,068
246

This is a rotten recording because of the wind. And the female is booming only quietly. (It's the loud 'strings' that are definitive.) But it IS a female. It is a 'vocal sac' noise.

Note: I hate this clip because it says 'friends.' The person who made it has no idea about emus. The young birds visible are miserable, terrorised. The femaile is bullying them: territorial. Look at the chicks' body language. They are staring through the fence.

SE

 
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hen house girl

In the Brooder
6 Years
Dec 9, 2013
20
2
26
Yes mine has two tones of booming one is a lighter sound when your close and the other is a base like sound that you can almost feel through the house walls. Thanks for all your tips :) I went to have a look at it and I can't see a sac on her neck, but I do recall seeing something puff out when it started to boom. I can see anything when it dedicates because the feathers cover that area.
 

briefvisit

Songster
7 Years
Nov 9, 2013
1,036
1,068
246
The sac in inside, H.H.G. You can only see it when it's inflated.

And here's a thought for you all: I suspect that it's more powerful females that make the longest strings of booms. I count them at night when I am auditing. From about 8 to a record of 18. Felicity is always about 8. Number One has longer distinctive 'double-boom' strings.

se
 

hen house girl

In the Brooder
6 Years
Dec 9, 2013
20
2
26
I can't see it but can feel a water balloon thing I'll show you in this pic where I can feel it
 

briefvisit

Songster
7 Years
Nov 9, 2013
1,036
1,068
246
Dr. Dave faked this nest -- where are the remains of the other eggs? And you can see that the feathers aren't all pressed into the earth (from having an emu sit on them for two months). And they aren't chest feathers, they are tail feathers.
And, of course, they are safari-park emus -- you can see the fence in the background.
So, Dr. Dave gets to be an expert without getting his boots dusty.
[Check the map that is shown. I grew up near Walgett.]
Great footage! Clutch of eight. Note the fine toosh feathers on these chicks. The Books may say that the chicks split from dad at less than a year of age; but I think that's wrong, and there are youtube clips that support my observations. These chicks are at least a year old. Note that the most assertive chick is the largest.
This woman is knowledgeable. Search for her posts.


And you can always visit BYC mating season in australia, and BYC planet rothschildi

se
 
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