26 June 2009


There's just something inherently punk about ostriches.
What I presume—can't see into the scrape to see if there are any eggs—is brooding behaviour. Female ostriches with the dull dun colouring do the daytime brooding; male ostriches with the black-and-white colouring do the night time brooding.This factoid allows one to conclude that the contents of the zoo enclosure is not meant to represent the ostrich's natural habitat. (I'm pretty sure somebody from the zoo dug the scrape with a shovel, come to that; the sod-busting ability of ostriches is perhaps justly to be regarded as dubious.)
Great shaggy mass of feathers, standing to check the scrape. This happened with enough thoroughness that I think there are eggs in there.
Yes, I know; basically a hundred kilo chicken, with all that implies about temperment and approachability. But still decidedly and amusingly floofulent.


Kai Jones said...

My limited experience with emus suggests a more aggressive ability to attack and injure intruders, combined with a willingness to be hugged. Weird, I know.

Emu eggs are beautiful, though. Shaped and colored like an avocado, after a few months an empty egg shell grows a black lacy pattern and eventually turns entirely black.

Graydon said...

Emus are apparently much more approachable; the zoo has a walk-through enclosure with emus and wallabies, and presumably considers the risk of something bad happening low enough to make this a worthwhile thing.

I have never tried to hug one, though. Doesn't seem prudent. :)

The walk-through enclosure can make them harder to photograph, because one must stay on the path and the emu can lurk in the shade well away from the path. The ostriches, on the other hand, are kinda stuck with the one, carefully positioned, human-dug nest scrape.

I've seen whole emu eggs, and agree; never seen an empty shell going black, but that sounds both pretty and fascinating. (Something in there is oxidizing -- what?)