Southern Cassowary

cassowary_web

 

Sam! I know you love predatory birds. Eagles and hawks look super cool and are super cool. But guess which bird is considered the most DANGEROUS! bird in the world! It’s the Cassowary!

They are related to the emu and the ostrich (which means they are flightless and gigantic and have clawed feet). The Southern Cassowary can slice a predator open with their dagger-like toes and then run like a hippo outta there. . . OR jump outta there: they can jump almost 7 feet.

They have a giant toenail on their head. Actually, it’s not a toenail, it’s a casque, which is like a helmet, but it’s covered in the same stuff that finger and toe nails are made of. Hence: toenail helmet. Cassowaries can hiss, whistle, and boom to communicate their feelings. If you hear a rumble from a Cassowary, get ready to get kicked. ¬†Because Cassowaries are so tough and DANGEROUS! they live a pretty solitary life, only seeking out others during mating season.

Here’s the really interesting bit: all the DANGEROUSness! and solitary life and dagger toes and toe-helmets and booms and the Southern Cassowary is a FRUGIVORE.

They only eat fruit. The most DANGEROUS! bird in the world only eats fruit. Just goes to show you that Mother Nature has an awesome sense of humor.

 

 

 

Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl

One of the most commonly heard noises you will hear in the woods, near a body of water, at night, in the Eastern United States, is the trill of the Eastern Screech Owl.  Eastern Screech Owls are usually monogamous, but sometimes the male is a sex-starved jerk and will mate with a second female.

These owls also regurgitate all the non-digestible things they eat, like the beaks of other birds, or the fur or bones of small mammals, in oval barf-pellets. They like to eat smaller birds, which is gross if you think about it. If you want to witness some of these puke-packets, you could build a nest box near some trees and maybe an Eastern Screech Owl will move in and eat all the small mammals near your house.