Emu Facts | Australia South Wildlife Guide
Female emus are larger than males and court them during the summer months (December/January), fighting other females for the privilege. Males construct the nests and incubate the eggs for an average of 56 days, forgoing food and water until the chicks hatch. Female emus sometimes stay by the nest, defending the eggs, but typically after the eggs are laid, females will venture off to find another mate. A productive mating season for a female emu will see her nest three times. Once the chicks are born, male emus will stay with their offspring for up to 7 months, protecting them and teaching them how to find food.
Emus are resilient, well-adapted birds, and are thus considered of "least concern" by the IUCN Red List. In the 1930s, the government waged the Great Emu War to cull emus in order to protect crops. While many emus died, their population persevered and exclusion barrier fencing became the de facto way to deal with agricultural destruction. Australia also began commercially farming emus for their meat and skin about 50 years ago, but their population in the wild remains stable today.