Seven Winters of Wild Birds

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by briefvisit, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. briefvisit

    briefvisit Songster

    Nov 9, 2013
    I have a bit of Net:

    Whee!!!! Supreme Emu is in town!
    Wonderful wonderful winter. Eric the Emu is sitting on eggs, but I can't find him. I assume he is sitting on eggs because he and Mrs. Eric were here together until mid-winter, then he disappeared.
    Otherwise, a flock of six wild birds has taken up residence. For three weeks now, there have been at least eight birds here each day:
    Number One, one of the original three chicks I tamed, returned about six weeks ago.
    Mrs. Eric is here, waiting for her eggs to hatch.
    The flock has two discernible breeding-pairs. They pretty much command the south west corner of the clearing -- away from the house. Number One bullies Mrs. Eric around the other part of the clearing.

    Just a few days ago, though, one of the females began strutting about in the middle. Readers, she is a magnificent bird: big; flares and walks sideways; sassy.

    Update: gonna call her Mrs Magnificent. You would all thrill to see her. She booms and flares and struts about just to let every emu within a mile know who is in charge. They all become really very interested in the grass in front of their noses. Her consort seems small -- ??

    Number One loves to shunt Mrs. Eric about, but she doesn't get in this female's way.

    There are now four females in play here -- I can here them booming as I type.
    Next: last month I was down by the meadow one afternoon. When I heard wild emus talking, I sat down -- it was cool and moist, and my eyes were okay. After about twenty minutes, a breeding-pair drifted into the gums near me; and, over about fifteen minutes, skirted my position. They came wonderfully close, vocalising quietly to and fro.
    Finally, in six years of listening, I have never had such a low-key symphony of vocalisations at night. About two hours before dawn, the (at least) eight birds roosting at various points around the house start vocalising.
    Different females, readers, have quite discernible booms. Some emit 'single' booms in strings, some emit doubles. I suspect that more powerful birds emit longer strings -- bigger vocal sacs. (Felicity never more than ten. I have heard eighteen and twenty.) One bird here emits remarkably long strings of doubles. It's almost certainly the bird I mentioned above.
    The best part, though, is that the males respond. When it's not really cold, I open the bedroom windows, and lie and listen. The birds talk back and forth until dawn.
    Hello to all the old timers! I miss you so: Sheriff, Emu Hugger, K.B.
    Supreme Emu, seventh winter here.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Very interesting post!
  3. Mark aka Supreme Emu

    Fantastic to see a great post from you.

    I've been looking to see if you are around.

    Hope you health is at least stable.

    PM if you want.

    Your Yank mate,

    KB aka Kerry
  4. briefvisit

    briefvisit Songster

    Nov 9, 2013
    : Kb!

    I am not really a drama queen, always posting for the very last time. It is Net and money and health.
    Gee this community is quiet. Is emu hugger still around?

    Although no formal observations I am still watching as I can. It has been a great season. Saw a male with a clutch of seven just by the house.

    Never had so many birds around the house -- including a flock of over eighty white tailed black cockatoos.
    Hope you and yours are welk
    Will pop in here every so often
  5. No drama, just great observations. I still envy you being able to make observations in the "raw" ie native habitat.

    Be well my friend. KB
  6. briefvisit

    briefvisit Songster

    Nov 9, 2013
    Any of you would delight to be here this moonlight night (if you are wearing eight layers of clothes . . . ).
    There are four or five females roosting within 150 or 200 metres of this room. One is no more than, say, sixty metres. The birds seem to vocalise a little more on bright nights.
    So, the flock is here -- six birds this afternoon. And Number One. And Mrs. Eric.
    (And I am sure that Eric is sitting quietly in the gums near by. He may be ten or twelve years old. This is his third clutch that I know of -- boy! I hope I see the chicks. It's perhaps the fourth time he has incubated. Eight years of parenting.)
    Mrs. Magnificent is one of the flock of six. (Her consort is a slight bird. Interesting.)
    So, if you were crazy enough to sit smack in the middle of the clearing from, say, three a.m. until dawn, you would experience a complete and (tolerably) natural set of wild emu vocalisations.
    I am too tired to do any analysis, but just for fun:
    I recall two females at dusk, over at Oudman's. (Oldtimers know where Oudman's is -- 'Planet Rothschildi') The birds didn't sound hostile at all, but just 'marking out' territories, calling quietly to and fro.
    So, you would EASILY be able to place the females at different compass points here.
    (There's one to the south east now. Her quiet booms are 'bassy.' I recall an occasion, several years ago, when Greedy -- a double-alpha bird who will pluck a prune from between your lips a hundred times without touching you -- sidled up to the wall off the house at dawn, knowing I would come out with wheat for her breakfast, and almost knocked me out of bed (less then ten feet away) with a fabulous string of booms.)
    About an hour before dawn, the males start replying.
    Then, if you sit through first light, you will get to experience the most enjoyable time of the emu day: dances at dawn. I have seen a pair of chicks come barreling out of the gums in an utter transport of spazziness. Running and leaping and whirling wildly -- find the Youtube with the weasel ball. It's great.
    One morning, walking through fog, a wild adult came into view, whirling wildly about in circles, happy as Larry.)
    There will be a minor crescendo of female booming as they re-re-re-establish territory. Number One will fuss over in the corner by the fig tree. She will chase Mrs. Eric, who doesn't boom.
    Mrs. Magnificent will take centre stage on the other side of the clearing. The two other breeding-pair' females will remain quiet.
    This stuff is everyday; but a clear still moonlight night with eight birds at roost is as good as I have ever heard it.
    Supreme Emu
  7. Hi Briefvisit,

    I love your "emu prose". It transports me to the wilds of Western Australia and is very helpful in connecting with my Canadian emus.

    Will you allow me to copy some of your descriptions to my emu blog so that others can feel the energy?

  8. briefvisit

    briefvisit Songster

    Nov 9, 2013
    Hey, Lois. Please do.
    Brief background:

    it would make sesnse for you to find the block of formal posts -- over a year and a half -- that are 'mating season in australia' and 'planet rothschildi'
  9. Thanks Briefvisit and I look forward to reading your formal posts as well. Happy trails.

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