OP – The Blog

December 4th, 2010

Dancing Dinosaur

Posted By Kevin Schafer

Wild Cassowary on the Beach

After two weeks of chasing these giant birds through the dense tropical rainforest, I moved today to a new location – a place where, I was told, wild Cassowaries walk the beach.  It seemed like a long shot, but I gave it a try, and set up a vigil on the beach in the late afternoon – not feeling very optimistic.  But little over an hour after I arrived a Cassowary emerged from the forest lining the beach and walked right past me. I was so stunned, I dropped all my camera gear into the sand out of my unzipped backpack. A few choice words were spoken – as you can imagine – and then I took off down the beach.

It was like a scene out of Jurassic Park: a giant primitive bird walking along a narrow beach backed by dense rainforest. I couldn’t believe my luck. I tried a variety of angles, backgrounds, lenses, close-ups and more environmental shots – anything I could think of, knowing my time with him could be brief.

This is only one of my favorites from an exhilarating hour spent with a feathered dinosaur. I’ll be back there at sunrise tomorrow!

Nikon D3, 24-70mm lens


Please leave a comment

  1. Steve Shuey Says:

    Are you kidding me??? :-) Holy cow. How awesome is that? Way to go. So far it looks like a very productive trip. Thanks for sharing these shots. I was wondering are you doing anything special to take care of your camera equipment in the jungle now the coast?

  2. Kevin Schafer Says:

    Hey Steve,

    Funny you should mention that. I spent most of last night cleaning sand out of the stuff I dropped onto the beach. Everythings ready now, I think – no awful grinding noises! Meanwhile, the humidity here is a real problem. For the past two weeks I have been in a small room with no AC, and about half way through I found that most of my clothes were covered with mold. It was a safe bet to think my lenses were soon going to have the same problem – once mold starts growing in between the elements, it’s all over. So I wrapped things in an electric blanket to drive the moisture out, and whenever the sun came out, everything went outside. In the end, it worked, but I’m not sure my clothes will ever be the same again!

  3. Steve Shuey Says:

    Do you ever use the silica packs that act as desiccants. Maybe those would be good as well. Still, even with the mold, it sounds like an awesome trip.

  4. Kevin Schafer Says:


    Yup, I’ve used silica in the past. The best thing (with electricity) is a dry box – a wooden chest with a light bulb on all the time. My electric blanket trick worked, though. I certainly didn’t need to sleep under it!

  5. Jay Goodrich Says:

    The Cassowary reminds me of the bird named “Kevin” in the movie Up and that hilarious scene where it is talking back to the retiree. Love the image Kevin.

  6. Jay Goodrich Says:

    The Cassowary reminds me of the bird named “Kevin” in the movie Up and that hilarious scene where it is talking back to the retiree. Love the image Kevin.

  7. Kevin Schafer Says:

    I hadn’t made that connection, thanks. That will help the grandkids relate to what their grandpa has been up to lately!… Thanks, Jay.

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