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RE: emu encounters



The bird I observed the vocalization in was a male,
kept in a seperate pen from the juveniles and the
flock. When a group of us approached, the male slowly
retreated further into his enclosure and made a sound
like a rattling bass drum. I suspect this might be a
'boom' sound, not having heard many emu conversations,
I'm not sure! If meant to deter a possible threat, the
noise certainly does have an intimidation factor to
it. 

Michelle

--- Ronald Orenstein <ornstn@rogers.com> wrote:
> At 12:08 PM 1/14/2004, Nancy Cavanaugh wrote:
> >The males were making the noise? From my limited
> research I've read that
> >the females were by far a lot more vocal than the
> males. Interesting!
> 
> Here is the relevant text, taken from the Handbook
> of the Birds of the World:
> 
> "Outside the breeding season, emus normally silent,
> except during 
> confrontations, or when they come across strange
> objects; on such occasions 
> both sexes make "grunting" and "booming" sounds,
> although males "boom" less 
> often.
> 
> "The "grunt" is used by males in the breeding season
> in three main ways: as 
> a threat and a territorial defense call in the
> presence of rivals; during 
> courtship display; and before egg-laying both sexes
> "grunt" during threat 
> displays.  Females mainly "boom" during courtship
> display, to proclaim 
> territory occupation, and also as a threat display. 
> The fairly similar 
> "high-intensity booming" is exclusively produced by
> females, and can be 
> heard up to 2 km away.  The most characteristic of
> all the emu's calls is 
> the single low, resonant "boom" known as "drumming",
> which has been 
> transcribed as "e-moo, e-moo".  This curious sound
> is made only by females 
> during the breeding season, probably to attract
> members of the opposite sex 
> at first, and then peaking in intensity when the
> male starts to incubate."
> 
> 
> 
> --
> Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone:
> (905) 820-7886
> International Wildlife Coalition             
> Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
> 1825 Shady Creek Court
> Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2         
> mailto:ornstn@rogers.com
>          


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