2013 Photo Contest, Nature, Singles, 1st prize

Southern Cassowary

Photographer

Christian Ziegler

16 November, 2012

A southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) feeds on the fruit of the blue quandong tree.

About

Christian Ziegler

He is a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine and has been widely published in other magazines such as Geo, Smithsonian, and BBC Wildlife. Christian’s aim is to hig...

Background story

Black Mountain Road, Queensland, Australia

A southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) feeds on the fruit of the blue quandong tree. The flightless birds grow up to two meters in height, with males weighing some 55 kg, and females 76 kg.

Cassowaries are an endangered species, with around only 1,500 left in the wild. The birds are crucial to the ancient rainforest of northern Queensland, because they carry large seeds in their stomachs for long distances. Several dozen tree species appear to rely on cassowaries alone to disperse their seeds.

The birds are under threat from habitat loss, resulting from agricultural and housing development, killings by domestic dogs, and collisions with vehicles.

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/13 sec
Focal length
16 mm
F-Stop
11
ISO
640
Camera
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

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