How Far Do Emus Travel?

briefvisit

Songster
6 Years
Nov 9, 2013
872
852
196
Got two breeding-pairs in ‘orbit’ here at present:

I’m watching this with interest. Tooshtoosh and Mrs. T. failed to mate – not a biggie for such a young male – and remained a pair, and stayed here. Okay.

And a little later, Limpychick returned after having left last winter. She brought Mr. Limpychick. We have no idea if she mated.

Now, somewhere in the long ago, I posted about ‘overlapping major and minor pastures.’ That is, T. and Mrs. T. usually come for breakfast, then choof off. Sometimes they come in the evening. Sometimes not. So we are certain enough that they graze on the half dozen pastures within a mile or two of here. (Plentiful water.)

And Limpychick and Mr. are also definitely in orbit. But they only touch down here once a fortnight or so.

And there are also random wild birds, male and female, coming and going. And we are sure enough that these wild birds know this pasture – the house-clearing with all its attendant goodies – from past visits.

I wish we could track a pair. Don’t want to capture birds, or tracking devices, blah blah blah. But even just as a thought experiment:

I would dearly like to know the ‘ambit’ of their travels. We have piles of observations of emus in one place or another. We can sometimes make clumsy guesses about their travels from the presence of water. Or how long they are absent (two and a half years . . . )

[Years ago, I was about a mile from the farmhouse, sitting quietly in the bush. A pair of emus appeared, and one just walked quietly up to me. It was Eric, whom I had not seen for quite some time (and Mrs Eric with him). And I worked out over years that Felicity used to cross the highway, and go south. She'd 'operate' from that territory for months while still regularly visiting the house-clearing. At times, I've seen here from five hundred yards away, plodding down the track from the highway, sometimes with a prospective consort in tow.]


If you take this to the next level, you get an insight into How Much Room Does An Emu Need?

The woodwardi emus – the desert top-half of West Oz – surely travel hundreds and hundreds of miles over time. Likewise the novaehollandiae of the east, who roam outback Queensland. I’ve hitched across this part of Oz. It’s huge.


[To put this in perspective. Folks from the States prolly think of Texas as the wide open spaces – actually, yeh, it is. But Texas has over 100 people per square mile. Western Australia has 2.5]

What if we could know, at one time, the ‘major and minor pastures’ of, say, T. and Mrs. T., and Limpychick and consort, and one local rothschildi female who has passed by my garden this spring, and one woodwardi, and one novaehollandiae; and watch these birds in their travels.
 

Willowspirit

Crowing
Premium member
Mar 14, 2019
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Near Portland Oregon at 2Dogs Ranch North
Got two breeding-pairs in ‘orbit’ here at present:

I’m watching this with interest. Tooshtoosh and Mrs. T. failed to mate – not a biggie for such a young male – and remained a pair, and stayed here. Okay.

And a little later, Limpychick returned after having left last winter. She brought Mr. Limpychick. We have no idea if she mated.

Now, somewhere in the long ago, I posted about ‘overlapping major and minor pastures.’ That is, T. and Mrs. T. usually come for breakfast, then choof off. Sometimes they come in the evening. Sometimes not. So we are certain enough that they graze on the half dozen pastures within a mile or two of here. (Plentiful water.)

And Limpychick and Mr. are also definitely in orbit. But they only touch down here once a fortnight or so.

And there are also random wild birds, male and female, coming and going. And we are sure enough that these wild birds know this pasture – the house-clearing with all its attendant goodies – from past visits.

I wish we could track a pair. Don’t want to capture birds, or tracking devices, blah blah blah. But even just as a thought experiment:

I would dearly like to know the ‘ambit’ of their travels. We have piles of observations of emus in one place or another. We can sometimes make clumsy guesses about their travels from the presence of water. Or how long they are absent (two and a half years . . . )

[Years ago, I was about a mile from the farmhouse, sitting quietly in the bush. A pair of emus appeared, and one just walked quietly up to me. It was Eric, whom I had not seen for quite some time (and Mrs Eric with him). And I worked out over years that Felicity used to cross the highway, and go south. She'd 'operate' from that territory for months while still regularly visiting the house-clearing. At times, I've seen here from five hundred yards away, plodding down the track from the highway, sometimes with a prospective consort in tow.]


If you take this to the next level, you get an insight into How Much Room Does An Emu Need?

The woodwardi emus – the desert top-half of West Oz – surely travel hundreds and hundreds of miles over time. Likewise the novaehollandiae of the east, who roam outback Queensland. I’ve hitched across this part of Oz. It’s huge.


[To put this in perspective. Folks from the States prolly think of Texas as the wide open spaces – actually, yeh, it is. But Texas has over 100 people per square mile. Western Australia has 2.5]

What if we could know, at one time, the ‘major and minor pastures’ of, say, T. and Mrs. T., and Limpychick and consort, and one local rothschildi female who has passed by my garden this spring, and one woodwardi, and one novaehollandiae; and watch these birds in their travels.
very interesting about emu travel. What hazards would they run across on their journeys? Possibly not cars? I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “house clearing”. Do you mean where your house is? Also are these birds that you hatch at your home or do they nest and hatch elsewhere?

Do you mind sharing in general where you are? I like maps to figure what people are talking about. I even need maps for my new home in Oregon. . ;)
 

briefvisit

Songster
6 Years
Nov 9, 2013
872
852
196
Good morning, Willowspirit. I'll reply in dribs and drabs.

I live on a non-working farm, an ex-sheep place planted with gum trees. Any place like this doesn't just have the actual farm house, it has a house-clearing of a few acres: chicken coops, tractor shed, shearing shed, orchard, gardens. And the clearing is a bushfire defence. So by the time you add in the 'right of way' where the power lines run through, and the main tracks around the house, you have what has been for twelve years an amazing place to observe the wild emu individuals and pairs and 'shmoozes' and mobs that cruise through on their life adventures. On one legendary autumn afternoon, sitting quietly at an observation 'post', I saw over fifty wild emus pass through, including about thirty chicks in clutches, with their Dads. I've seen groups of ten to twenty skirmishing for weeks on end around the fig trees in a good season.

SE
 
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briefvisit

Songster
6 Years
Nov 9, 2013
872
852
196
'Do you mind sharing in general where you are?'

Find Rocky Gully on the Muir Hwy between Manjimup and Mt. Barker. Find the Frankland River bridge 14 ks to the west. Then 4 ks more. There's a road called 'Neeranup' on the south side of the hwy. I'm just opposite: north side. And if you use Google Earth you can easily see the buildings in the house-clearing
 

briefvisit

Songster
6 Years
Nov 9, 2013
872
852
196
'What hazards would they run across on their journeys? Possibly not cars?'

Modernly, fences. And cars. Pre-historically, we can discuss this -- very different, very interesting.
 

briefvisit

Songster
6 Years
Nov 9, 2013
872
852
196
Where do they nest? Well, the way the project went is:

one part is observations here. Another, over several years, over an area ten miles wide and several miles deep, was painstaking observation of emus in their natural environments. So there are details of nesting from this, but just a little.

But we have two unique sets of observations from the house-clearing. Years ago, Greedy Emu and her consort Boy Emu beat of all comers to breed here. The Mating Season thread describes this. No one has, to my knowledge, ever documented such a thing.

And a year later (though I was too ill to observe much at all), Felicity Emu and Noddy Big Ears did likewise: secured the house-clearing during autumn and into winter, and Noddy incubated just a hundred yards from the house.



 

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briefvisit

Songster
6 Years
Nov 9, 2013
872
852
196

This photo is, to my knowledge, the only one of its kind: unique. It is a wild emu incubating. There are five newly-hatched chicks under Boy Emu at this point. I watched the 7.5 weeks of the incubation. On the four days of the hatch, I spent six to eight hours a day watching the show from about forty feet away, though binos. The female, contrary to all the literature, attended the hatch of her chicks, sitting close by.
 

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briefvisit

Songster
6 Years
Nov 9, 2013
872
852
196
The way the male sits on the eggs makes a little room right under his bum. And his plumage forms a functional curtain all around. So the chicks can actually zip in and out over the days of the hatch, venturing just a metre or two from dad, then zooming back in underneath him. The chicks may hatch in the middle of wild spring storms: freezing cold, howling wind, pouring rain.

Then they move off as a group.

SE
 

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