The Settlement At Port Jackson, By Watkin Tench


Here again naturalists must look forward to that information which longer
and more intimate knowledge of the feathered tribe than - Page 200
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Here Again Naturalists Must Look Forward To That Information Which Longer And More Intimate Knowledge Of The Feathered Tribe Than I Can Supply, Shall Appear.

I have nevertheless had the good fortune to see what was never seen but once, in the country I am describing, by Europeans - a hatch, or flock, of young cassowaries with the old bird.

I counted ten, but others said there were twelve. We came suddenly upon them, and they ran up a hill exactly like a flock of turkeys, but so fast that we could not get a shot at them. The largest cassowary ever killed in the settlement, weighed ninety-four pounds. Three young ones, which had been by accident separated from the dam, were once taken and presented to the governor. They were not larger than so many pullets, although at first sight they appeared to be so from the length of their necks and legs. They were very beautifully striped, and from their tender state were judged to be not more than three or four days old. They lived only a few days.

A single egg, the production of a cassowary, was picked up in a desert place, dropped on the sand, without covering or protection of any kind. Its form was nearly a perfect ellipsis; and the colour of the shell a dark green, full of little indents on its surface. It measured eleven inches and a half in circumference, five inches and a quarter in height, and weighed a pound and a quarter.

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