Mammals

Oops! It’s a boy!

Using adult Eastern Grey Kangaroo sex identification markers, I seized on the joey’s white chest fur to boldly proclaim that it was a female in an earlier post.  As the joey grows and matures, the white fur is turning brown and it is becoming increasingly obvious that I was wrong. He’s all boy!

Young Male Joey

There is still a bit of white chest fur remaining, but this is turning to brown. There is no doubting that this joey is a male!

Young Male Joey

Viewed from the side, you can see that he is still quite small.

Most mornings the joey and his mother can be seen quite close to our house. They mirror each other’s movements almost exactly – sniffing into the air, sitting upright to listen, bending down to eat, and even bounding away in the same split second.  They’ve been travelling together for long enough to pick up on the same cues, and read each other’s response.

Mother and Son

The joey still has a lot of growing to do before he becomes truly independent.

Female Kangaroo

From the curve of her belly, we can see that another joey is in the female kangaroo’s pouch.

 

8 replies »

    • Yes, there is food, but no, we don’t have irrigation here at all. This year we had a very cool December, and while there wasn’t copious amounts of rain, there was enough to keep most of the grass green right up until the start of January. Even now I can see green-yellow tinges among the dried grasses.

      This joey has been out of the pouch for at least a couple of months too. The reason the kangaroos keep coming close to the house is that the septic tank overflow always has green grass growing on it. I think we have these two as permanent residents on our property, even when we don’t see them near the house. We also seem to have two Swamp Wallabies as permanent residents. between the four of them, they manage to keep a lot of the native grasses in trim, but not to the extent that it is over-grazed, so I guess that means there is plenty for them to eat.

      So far this Summer I haven’t seen other kangaroos. Last year we had up to five at a time, so I guess that means they have found food elsewhere. Lisa

  1. They are quiet adorable creatures to look at. When they roam about are they considered “pests” in Australia or just part of the natural wonder? I hope it’s that they contribute to the natural beauty. :)

    • It often depends on who you ask, and how many kangaroos are in the mob. Many Australians love kangaroos as the gentle and adorable creatures you describe (including me). However, in drought conditions where there is little food in the bush, kangaroos do tend to move onto farmland and compete with sheep and cattle for small amount of food available. These mobs can be very large with 50 to a hundred or more kangaroos together. If you ask the farmers, they would tell you they think the kangaroos are a pest in these circumstances. There is an ongoing debate in the media about whether large mobs of kangaroos should be culled and occasionally this happens. It is always controversial.

      Many environmentally aware people argue that we should be farming kangaroos for meat as kangaroos are naturally suited to the environment here, where sheep and cattle require a lot more water, and their hooves are too hard for our fragile earth. Others say we should not eat our National Symbol.

      If you are interested in these types of discussions, you will probably find a lot of articles in a Google search, but I can’t point you to anything specific.

      Anyway, I am so very happy to have two adorable kangaroos on our property. They are very welcome here and I never tire of their presence. Lisa

  2. Well, boy or girl it is a cutie! What fun it must be to be able to watch them so near you. I have always been fascinated by kangaroos and would love to have them near me. Great pictures of them. Hugs

    • Thank you! Yes, I especially love it when he is right alongside his mother, mirroring her movements. One funny thing he does is ‘stamp’ his tail, as we would stamp our foot. The section of the tail that is black lifts of the ground and thumps back down. He is also prone to just laying down for a sleep for five minutes, then getting up, hopping around, eating some more, then having another five minute snooze. He’s very fidgety, so he never seems to do one thing for very long. :-) Lisa

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