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Encounter with a Cassowary

The bird with the VERY deep voice!

In a tropical woodland in eastern Australia, you glimpse a Southern Cassowary, a huge flightless bird that must rate as the most prehistoric looking of all birds. Cassowaries are capable of making remarkable sounds, including the lowest known bird call in the world, barely audible to the human ear! Learn more about the Southern Cassowary and see photos at the links below.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
Encounter with a Cassowary

Written by Bob Sundstrom
 
This is BirdNote!
[Sounds of tramping through the woods]
Today we’re visiting a tropical woodland in eastern Australia, where we hope to glimpse a Southern Cassowary, a huge flightless bird that must rate as the most prehistoric looking of all birds. [Cassowary “coughing” calls]
[In a loud whisper] Wait! Do you hear that? That coughing sound is a cassowary! [Cassowary “coughing” calls] It’s walking this way [Sounds of walking on leaf litter]. Stand still; it may come close. Well, I hope not too close. [Sounds of walking on leaf litter; “coughing” call]
There it is—it’s absolutely immense and it’s eyeing us. At eye-level. It’s nearly six feet tall with a bony crest—like one of the bony plates along the back of a stegosaurus. Its head and long neck are deep blue, bare, featherless. Its ostrich-like body is covered in coarse, black feathers that look more like fur. It may weigh 150 pounds.
[Cassowary “coughing” calls] OK, we should back away now, and leave the forest to the cassowary.
 [Now in a normal voice] Cassowaries are capable of making remarkable sounds [“Roar” of the Dwarf Cassowary]. But how about this call? [Cassowary subaudible calls]. It’s the lowest known bird call in the world, and it’s barely audible to the human ear. Have a look at a photo of a cassowary and listen again to its calls by coming to BirdNote.org. [Cassowary subaudible calls] For BirdNote, I’m Frank Corrado.
###
Bird audio provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Foraging sounds of a Southern Cassowary recorded by L. Macaulay. Queensland ambient recorded by E. Brown.
Various calls of Southern and Dwarf Cassowary recorded and provided by Andrew Mack.
Producer:  John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org   December 2013   Narrator: Frank Corrado

ID# 120406cassoKPLU        cassowary-01-FCr

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