emus in outback Australia
Emus Dromaius Novaehollandiae IMG 9374 - When a female emu has laid her clutch of eggs, her maternal duty is completed. It's the male who looks after the chicks when they eventually hatch, and he's a protective parent, even when the chicks have become as large as he is. In this photo of a flock of these flightless Australian birds, the adult male is the one with the bluish skin on his neck, and the other birds are part of his family of five chicks. They were wandering through the grasslands of the NSW outback, and cautiously came to inspect the photographer's campervan when it came to a standstill on a muddy and slippery track that became impassable after light rain.