Dromaius novaehollandiae~ Emu
The Emu is Australia’s tallest native bird. Most people see Emus along roadsides, near fences or other barriers, giving the impression of close association. However, Emus are not usually social, except for young birds, which stay with their father.The Emu is found only in Australia. It lives throughout most of the continent, ranging from coastal regions to high in the Snowy Mountains. Emus were once found in Tasmania, but were exterminated soon after Europeans arrived.
Our six emus seem like a cross between a ballerina and a dinosaur. They eat all sorts of different seeds, fruits, leaves, grasses, flowers and insects. Emus can run at 48kms per hour. In the wild the female lays eggs but leaves the male to incubate for 8 weeks and then care for the chicks when they hatch. He keeps them warm under his feathers at night. The female dominates the male during pair formation but once incubation begins, the male becomes aggressive to other Emus, including his mate. The female wanders away and leaves the male to perform all the incubation. Sometimes she will find another mate and breed again. The male incubates the eggs without drinking, feeding, defecating or leaving the nest. During this time, eggs often roll out of the nest and are pulled back in by the male.Emus make a strange deep booming sound as they communicate with each other. They have huge deep amber eyes.
DID YOU KNOW…
In Aboriginal Dreamtime, there are many stories about the Emu, such as how the Emu came to be, why they are flightless. There is also the astronomical “Emu in the Sky.” “Emu in the Sky” is part of the Milky-Way, and depending on the position of that Emu (usually from around March) it has been a guide to many Aboriginal communities by helping them know certain harvest and season times
Their beautiful feathers can be used to make a traditional fan called “Aroo”. Aboriginals also used Emus’ feathers to hide their own tracks by sticking them to the bottom of their feet!
Our gentle emus wander among the kangaroos and the people.
Our three older emus wandering in the park.
Podargus strigoides ~ Tawny frogmouth
Members of the Nightjar family, Tawny Frogmouths are more closely related to Kingfishers than Owls.
Berry was brought to Potoroo Palace by a wildlife carer.
He was unable to be released back into the wild as he only has sight in one eye.
See if you can spot these masters of camouflage as you walk through the enclosure.