Mating-Season in Australia

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by Tame Emu Guy, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Event: emu mating-season in Western Australia
    Area: 150 acres (my place); 1,000,000 sq. mls. (Western Australia)

    It seems that mating-season has begun – well anyway, all the emus are behaving oddly:

    Felicity has disappeared, as she did last season (for seven months). Eric and Mrs Eric, the breeding pair in residence, still come for their morning wheat; but they don’t seem to be concerned about defending the farmhouse-clearing. They are actually letting ‘foreign’ emus just walk up and eat figs!

    Meanwhile, emus seem to be on the move, cruising around and around. Sites on the Net say that emus’ plumage changes at this time. I do think the birds seem darker and glossier.

    Next should come ‘flocking up.’ I saw a flock of forty birds in a field last year; but at the same time, here at the farmhouse, I sometimes didn’t see an emu for several days. The Net says that females fight for mates, which would account for why Greedy is such a scruffy-looking person at this time of year. (She’s been gone for months. I hope she checks in later.)

    Supreme Emu
  2. Finally, I’ve seen emus mating in ‘the wild’ – that is, out by the fig tree. The female assumes a position like a Cessna whose nose wheel has collapsed on landing . . .
  3. foulman007

    foulman007 Songster

    Dec 29, 2010
    Columbia SC
    My female always looks quite disturbed after the act.
  4. The life of Felicity the Emu is normally characterised by being chased around and around (and around) the environs by Eric and Mrs. Eric the Emu. Now, Felicity has returned from her first mating-season foray; and she seems like a new person (emu), willing to confront both Eric and Mrs Eric. Surely this is a mating-season behaviour. Let’s wait a few months, and see if Felicity reverts to her humble self.
    Meanwhile, strange emus continue to wander past. Indeed, they come right up to the house; and there still seems to be more glukking and foomphing and grunting and hissing than usual.
    [And a few days ago, while in standard house-clearing pursuit of Felicity the Guiltless, Mrs. Eric lost her footing on a sharp corner, and went down hard – what an Australian would call ‘come a gutser.’ Rough justice, I reckon.]

    Supreme Emu
  5. Dusk in the garden here is marvellous – ‘here’ being the backyard/the house-clearing/the 150-acres of blue gums/Western Australia. (The fences are down. It’s all one.) Mr. and Mrs. Eric are finishing their last lap of the house-clearing, she glukking quietly, he ‘ticking’ quietly. Felicity is on the other side of the clearing, feathers at one-third puff, glukking quietly at a foreign emu, a glossy young bird (a male?), that wandered past about twenty yards away a minute ago. Several other emus are audible at different points of the compass, ticking and glukking. [There’s also a mother and baby kangaroo – ‘doe’ and ‘joey’ – sitting watching by the fig tree.] Mr. and Mrs. Eric have now headed quietly into the gums, to sleep; and within ten minutes the only emu noises will be the periodic gluks of the females, which continue all night.

    Supreme Emu
  6. These notes, readers, are mere supposition, nothing definitive here:

    Felicity has gone again, and I don’t think she’ll return for quite some time. (Her age-mate, Greedy, already has two consorts.) It’s only twelve o’clock, and I’ve already seen three pairs of birds pass through the house-clearing, and that doesn’t count the breeding pair in residence or others drifting about individually behind the fig tree.
    The birds really do seem less shy than usual, coming right past the house; and they do seem – early days of such observations – to be going somewhere. That is, not just endlessly wandering about eating.
    I just spent some minutes spying, from a room in the house, on a pair about thirty feet away. Fine looking birds*, no missing feathers, a good sheen along the ‘part’ on their back, and very lively. (Those of you with pets may not realise quite how flighty they are in a natural environment. Every sound and zephyr of breeze spooks them, and they prance about. They never feed for more than five seconds without lifting their heads to check for danger – are your pets the same in this? I assume it only from the placidity of Youtube emus, ha ha ha . . . )

    * Dark, Kathyinmo. I’m paying more attention to this now. Dark grey ‘salt and pepper’ bodies, but both had unbroken black feathers from shoulder to head. No blue skin on either.

    Supreme Emu
  7. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I am enjoying reading your posts. I do have videos, though my pair are only 6 weeks old. I am trying to be observant of characteristics they display.

    I will continue to post photos and videos in this thread HERE. I hope others will, too.
  8. New term: ‘flocking up’: now, you’d normally no more expect to see Eric the Emu sharing his wheat in the sun with a bunch of foreign emus than you would expect to see an Anne-Geddes photo of Attila the Hun naked in a flower pot – but that’s exactly what is happening behind the house at this minute. There are at least six adult birds all quite amicably eating wheat and scratching their tushes in the autumn sun. It seems that everyone has ‘de-territorialised’ – flocking up.

    Supreme Emu
  9. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Ohhhhh, I wish I could see that! Can you get pictures?
  10. Pictures coming.

    The flock-ette that has been present for the last week or so has stopped turning up morning and night for food, though they are still in the vicinity. They came remarkably close. Wild birds come into the house-clearing every day, but they don’t come close to the house, and they usually bolt when I appear. It took me a couple of mornings to determine that it was the same half a dozen birds. I can’t figure out if they are males or females. Two of the birds are adolescents. Mr. and Mrs. Eric are still here.
    I saw two birds chasing each other wildly about yesterday – they ran hundreds and hundreds of yards. One of them was doing a spirited spazzy dance as it ran.

    Supreme Emu

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