A flightless bird (Ratite) there is only one species of Emu, which is the worlds 3rd largest bird behind the
Ostrich and Cassowary.
Emus are very mobile quick runners (up to 50 kph), running with a bouncy, swaying motion.
Emus are generally nomadic, with some emus roaming over hundreds of kilometers.
Description - adults
They are covered with long, thick, drooping feathers that are dark brown to grey-brown which appears shaggy
Their heads though have shorter "downy" feathers, pointy beak, large bright looking eyes and often a blue throat
Emus have extremely long legs (enabling them to run fast) with 3 toed feet.
They stand 1 .5 to 2 meters tall and weigh up to 45 kg
Male and females Emus look similar, though the female is usually larger.
Female Emus make a deep-throated drumming sound using air sacs in their throats
whilst the male sound is generally more harsher and "throatier"
Emu Hatchlings are covered with striped (brown to black) down, with spotted heads
Location & Habitat
Emus are found throughout Australia from Woods to scrubland to grassland to desert
areas but not in Rainforests
The Emu feeds mainly on green herbage like grass, flowers, seeds etc, but they also eat insects (eg. Grasshoppers). Emus try to drink once to twice a day
Emus are most vulnerable as eggs or as hatchlings (young).
Lizards eat Emu eggs and young emus are hunted by Dingoes eagles and non-native foxes, dogs & cats
Emus pair up for breeding once they are about 2 years old
The female lays the dark green eggs (5 to 20 eggs) on the 1 meter wide nest which is built of grass and weeds on the ground by the male
The eggs are incubated by the male for 8 weeks. During this period the male rarely leaves the nest, surviving on a layer of fat he built up prior to nesting.
Once hatched the male cares for the hatchlings (description above) for a further 6 to 9 months on average