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Northern Cassowary

Northern Cassowary
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-08-25 6:47
Viewed: 4353
Points: 76
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A photo of a threatened species. Most of the time you see photos of the Southern Cassowary. Taken in Welt Vogelpark Walsrode in Germany.

The Northern Cassowary, Casuarius unappendiculatus, also known as the Single (One)-wattled Cassowary or Gold(en)-neck(ed) Cassowary, is a large, stocky flightless bird.

It's binomial name Casuarius unappendiculatus, can be broken down to Casuarius is kesuari Malay for cassowary. unappendiculatus means unus, one, appendicis, appendage, -culus, diminutive, and -atus, provided with: cassowary provided with one small appendage, referring to the single wattle. Officially, there are no sub-species, however, some authors list several sub-species.

It has hard and stiff black plumage, blue facial skin and a casque on top of the head. It has a bright red or yellow colored neck and wattle. The feet are huge and strong with long, dagger-like claw on its inner toe. The sexes are similar. The male, at 37 kilograms (82 lb), is smaller than female, at 58 kilograms (130 lb). These birds are between 165–175 cm (65–69 in) in height.

Casuariidae is the family of the Northern Cassowary. There are only four members of this family, three of them are Cassowary’s, and the other member is the only remaining species of Emu. As you can probably guess from the above information, all four species of bird are quite similar. Emu’s were formerly classified in a different family, until it was decided that they are alike enough to the Cassowary’s that they could be classified in the same family. All four members of the Casuariidae family are large and also flightless birds. The Northern Cassowary shares an analogous feature with the Aptenodytes forsteri, also known as The Emperor Penguin. The Northern Cassowary and the Emperor Penguin are indeed from separate families, though both of them possess wings, but incidentally cannot fly. The structure is the same; a forearm and finger-like bones that are covered by their wing.

Although the two species are incredibly dissimilar, this similarity between them serves the same function. The Northern Cassowary and the Emu share homologous features. For example, both the Northern Cassowary and the Emu have a blue patch of colour on their face/neck, but the functions of these differ. The Emu’s patch of fur is of a paler colour, and is used as a form of camouflage where it is located. The Northern Cassowary’s patch of blue is brighter, and is used for attracting mates.

Range and habitat
The Northern Cassowary is distributed and endemic to coastal swamp and lowland rainforests of northern New Guinea and the islands of Yapen, Batanta and Salawati. They prefer elevations below 490 m (1,610 ft).

As with other cassowaries, it is a shy and solitary bird. Their diet consists mainly of fruits and small animals. They make grunting and hissing sounds, like other cassowaries.

In breeding season, the polygamous female lays three to five green eggs on a well camouflaged nest prepared by male, she leaves the nest and eggs to find another mate. The male raises the chicks alone for about nine months.

Due to ongoing habitat lost and overhunting in some areas, the Northern Cassowary is evaluated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with hunting being the biggest threat. Native people use the bones and eggs, and take the chicks to be raised for meat. As logging opens up more areas of the forest, hunting will be more of a problem. Their occurrence range is 186,000 km2 (72,000 sq mi) and a 2000 estimate placed their numbers at 9300.

Source: Wikipedia

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To paolo49: butterfly?PeterZ 1 08-27 01:22
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Critiques [Translate]

What a smart "headgear" this colourful bird has, Peter!
Lovely portrait of a rare species. Your note gives detailed information about it, which is very useful for a layman like me.
Thanks and best regards.

Ciao Peter, wonderful portrait of lovely Northern Cassowary with fantastic colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio
PS don't miss the butterfly that I'll post this evening

Hallo Peter,
Wonderlike kleure en skerpheid van hierdie rare voël wat onbekend is aan my. Uitstaande velddiepte en onverbeterlike gehalte. Ook 'n baie insiggewende nota. Welgedaan en beste wense.

Ciao Peter. Real show of lgiht abd colours. Impressive details and sharp for the expressive portrait MF!


Hello Peter
a great portrait of this Northern Cassowary, great details and colors. Well done!
Regards Hedesan

Hi Peter,
Great portrait of this animal.
Colors and DOF are very good.

Hello Peter,

A fine portrait of this colourful fellow!
A face only a mother can love, hehehe, no joking, this is a very good looking fellow....
Tight framing adds drama, colours are truthfully reproduced and sharp fine details!

Pablo -

What a vivid & wonderful composition. A symphony of colors & intensity so detailed & focused. Perfect!



Hallo Peter,

twijfelde aan Walsrode maar even gekeken en ja Walsrode.
Deze is veel beter dan mijn Walsrode casuarissen.
Mooi scherp genomen met goed oggcontact.Prachtige kleuren.


Back in Lord Potty days, thus was his kind of image. And it is your forte' Peter. You see in technicolour so very well.

Hello Peter
Beautiful portrait of an interesting species ! Excellent composition fantastic colours and very good sharpness.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-08-25 11:19]

Hello Peter.
Very nice portrait shot, great sharpness and POV/DOF, well captured too. Great colours an very nice bg. This is an excellent compositon.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • BREARD Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 1 N: 419] (2141)
  • [2011-08-25 11:46]

Bonjour Peter,
Belles couleurs, netteté et plan très rapproché.
Félicitations pour cette photo.

Hello Peter,
What I like at this portrait are the colours, details, sharpness, POV and OOF BG. Well done!

Hi Peter,

Fantastic potrait of this huge & beautiful bird. The colors are amazing. Very well captured with excellent eye contact.
Well done & TFS.

hallo Peter
Een super scherpe opname ,super goed licht en veel details te zien
De kleuren zijn weer prachtig
bedankt groetjes lou

Hello Peter,
Impressive portrait of a interesting bird.
The details clarity and focus are perfect.
Thanks for sharing this amazing bird!

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-08-25 13:58]

Hello Peter,
great shot of this beauty of nature! Splendid colors; excellent sharpness, detail and point of view.
A very impressive image! Magnetic eye.

Hello Peter, my dear neighbor of today! :) ... Having this great cassowary so close, makes my butterfly looks a bit faded!... ha.... ha... ha! :)
Beautiful photo, with a marvelous color and an eloquent record of the structure of the head of this fantastic bird, in especially the strange and big crest!
Also a complete note, good!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-08-25 15:34]

Hi Peter,very impressive portrait,the best way to discover this strange beauty of nature,magnificent sharpness,details and all the colors of the world inside.I like it!My best compliments,have a nice day,Luciano

Hi Peter,
Great portrait of this very unusual bird. Great blue and red colors. The focos on the eye is fantastic. At 130 pounds that is a massive bird. I would love to see the rest of the bird. Excellant. Intersting notes.

Hallo Peter,
a superb portrait of the Northern Cassowary, very good sharpness and splendid bright colours, excellent point of view
Best regards

Hello Peter,
Great close-up of this impressive bird! excellent details sharpness, good lighting and wonderful vivid colours, point of view and composition are also very good too,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice day,
Best Regards,

Hi Peter, Very nice capture and good timing with this Northern Cassowary portrait, exceptional detailed sharpness with superb saturated colours, excellent exposure/white balance control, great effort Peter and well done,
Best regards,


A fine portrait, good details. Nice to see a close-up. regards yiannis

wonderfull color nice shot frend great sharpnes.

Hello Peter,
fine portrait of this bird with fantastic colours and very good sharpness full of details. I also like the fine eye contact and the nicely blurred background. Very well done, my compliments.
Best wishes,

Hello Peter,
This is amazing coloors.
I see firstly timme now this birds.
Thanks a lot for share.
Have a good weekend.

Bonjour Peter,
Splendide lumière faisant resplendir les couleurs et excellente profondeur de champ permettant d'apprécier la finesse des détails.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Preciosa imagen del Casuario,gran nitidez y excelentes detalles ademas de unos colores fantasticos.
Buen fin de semana Peter.

wow what a bird portrait Peter, excellent details and very nice colors,congratulations for the picture ,

have a good time,

ciao, tino

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2011-08-26 13:36]

Hello Peter,
Wonderful portrait of this beautiful bird with excellent colors,sharpness and great details...
Have a nice weekend!...

Hi Peter,
Excellent photo, great colors and very fine details, interesting Butterfly species, TFS!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-08-27 4:21]

Hello Peter,
Walsrode is really rich in all sorts of very exotic birds..this Cassowary is a good example for it. Excellent idea to show its very striking-colored head and this amazing casque. Its golden eye is also impressive. The bush-background is a little bit noisy, but you had probably no other possibiliy.
Have a nice weekend

Hi peter,
Fantastic bird! It's a species of Pandora??? (avatar film)
The colours are simply impressive and the sharpness is excellent.
Thanks for sharing

Peter, great shot of this very colorful bird. The background is a little busy though. Still, a great shot. It has good sharpness and detail.
Have a wonderful weekend, Bill

Impresionante y rara especie. Muy buen control de la luz.
Saludos Peter: Josep Ignasi.

Hello Peter!

Wow! Amazing portrait! Magnificent bird captured with fantastic eye contact


Hello Peter

It has an amazing casque on top of the head
this exotic bird that is the Northern Cassowary,
beautiful portrait with fine POV, great contrast
of the color tones, TFS


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