It's that time of year...at least here....this female is definitely looking to attract the attention of her mate! Emus pair in summer and breed in the cooler months. The female develops blue skin on her neck and her feathers turn a darker brown. This intense stare must be the Emu equivalent of a "come hither" look :-)
The emu is the largest bird in Australia, and the second largest in the world after the ostrich.
Emus have long necks, sharp beaks and small ears. They have two sets of eyelids, one for blinking and one to keep out the dust. Their feet are long, with three toes. One toe on each foot has a long talon, for fighting.
Emus can grow to between 5 to 6.5 feet in height and weigh up to 130 pounds. Males are slightly smaller than females. Males make a grunting sound like a pig and females make a loud booming sound.
Emus must drink every day, and they don’t waste water. On very hot days they breathe rapidly, using their lungs as evaporative coolers. Their large nasal passages have multiple folds inside. In cooler weather they use these folds to recycle air and create moisture for reuse.
Emus feed on grains, flowers, berries, soft shoots, insects, grubs and whatever else they can find. They even eat stones, dirt and tin cans by accident.
When food is plentiful, emus store large amounts of fat in their bodies. They use these fat stores to survive while looking for more food.
Emus are very docile and curious, and are easily tamed in captivity. Like all Ratites, they are extremely fast, and can travel great distances at a fast trot. If need be, they can sprint at 30 miles per hour .
They are nomadic and roam the countryside looking for food. Although
they are solitary creatures, emus can live in flocks or pairs. When
they form a flock, they don’t do it for company – they just all gather
where food is.
Emus can swim and if they have to, they will cross rivers when they are wandering. But they prefer to just play in the water. On hot days at streams or dams they will sometimes roll on their backs and kick their legs in the air.