Cassowary Habits

Courtship and Calls plus Nests & Chicks

Cassowary Habitat, Appearance and Claw Attacks

Cassowary Habits - Courtship and Calls plus Nests & Chicks

Cassowary Feeding Habits and Threats plus Mythology & Fossils

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Continued from Cassowary Habitat, Appearance and Claw Attacks

The legs of the Cassowary are extremely strong, and can take the bird to a speed of up to 50 kilometers per hour.  The cassowary can and jump to a height of up to 1.5 meters.  It is also a good swimmer,  crossing lakes and rivers without difficulty.

Cassowary are usually shy birds that live deep within forests, and normally disappear from view long before humans can detect them.  Due to their secretive way of life the habits of Cassowarys are not particularly well known.  They are solitary birds except during the breeding season which can be any time between June and November when the fruits of the forest are more abundant.

Cassowary are essentially sedentary birds, living in their territory for all the year. However, in the dry season, movements can happen towards residual water pools or rivers to search for
water to drink. They have been known to travel great distances, due to the destruction of the habitats in which they live.

It is believed that a Cassowary can live quite a long life to the age of 40 or 50 years old.

Cassowary Picture
Cassowary Picture


The male's territory covers an area of 1 to 5 km.  If a female enters this area during the mating season, the male starts a courtship display.  The plumage is raised up and the bird slowly circles.  The neck is expanded, giving a particularly bright appearance, and a dull “boo boo boo” call is spoken by the bird.

Nest, Eggs and Chicks

If the female has fallen for the male's charms, after mating the pair will remain together for some weeks.  The female Cassowary lays her eggs in a bed of leaves and grass in a shallow depression in wooded ground. The nest is always very well hidden, camouflaged in the vegetation and very difficult to find.  The eggs are a lights bluish green colour, measuring approximately 9 to 14 centimetres. Only emus and the ostrich lay larger eggs.  After laying her eggs, the female leaves the nest. Often she then goes into the area of another male, in order to mate with a new gentleman.   During one season she will probably mate with 2 or 3 males.

The male Cassowary who she has left incubates the eggs, the incubation period being around 49 to 56 days.  Only a few hours after hatching, the chicks can run around after their father, who then takes care of the young chicks for about 9 months.

Young Cassowaries have a brown plumage; the bright colors of the neck portions are missing to them. Their helmet starts to become visible at around 6 months.  During their second year of life, Cassowaries gradually take the appearance of adult birds and reach adult size. At the age of three and a half years they are mature for mating.


Cassowarys producs a variety of different sounds, according to their mood or of the activity that they are carrying out.  Today, little it is known about their meaning, but during nesting the cassowary normally remains silent.  They are able to make particularly low calls, which lie around the lower borderlines of human hearing.   The Southern Cassowary can use calls as low as at 23 hertz, and the Dwarf Cassowary 32 hertz.  These sounds can carry far and may help these solitary birds maintain contact with each other. Other vocalisations include  strong roars during combat, an almost hissing-like sound.  During the nine months in which the male takes care of the chicks, he emits noises similar to coughing sounds.
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