Big Bird–No not the yellow big bird from Sesame Street, but the big black bird from Queenlands Australia. The Casuarius casuarius or cassowary for short. The southern cassowary is a fruit eater that is very important to the Australian rain forests as it spreads the seeds of the fruit it eats throughout the forest. They are large flightless birds, the females can weigh up to 160 pounds, and have a larger hornlike casque than does her mate.The males are smaller than the females and they are the ones who raise the chicks. Both males and females have glossy black feathers, with scaly legs
Different birds have different length of wattles, the beautiful red folds of skin that hang down in front of the neck. There are just three toes on their feet, and on the inside of each foot is a spike.
These particular cassowaries I photographed in a Bird Park in Bali Indonesia. For more information on the birds I refer you to a recent article in the September 2013 issue of the National Geographic, or Google it!