Eastern Gray Kangaroos

Family of Four

At the risk of overloading you with photographs of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, here is an update. Three female kangaroos have been coming past the house to graze a couple of times each week.  As noted in my previous post Three Morning Visitors, it appears to be a mature female with two female offspring from her last two seasons. Both are much smaller than the mature female.  Yesterday morning, the three were joined by a large male kangaroo.

It doesn’t matter how many times I see them, I still marvel at the kangaroos.  The size and power difference between the male and female kangaroos is significant.  To see this easily, just compare the length and musculature of the forearms.  The photos below show the mature male and female kangaroo together, and few photos of the youngest female, who looks little more than a baby.  However, she is not the current youngest. The mature female has another joey in her pouch.

I’m posting these photos for pure enjoyment. I just love looking at them. I hope you do too.

Male and Female Eastern Grey Kangaroo
Kangaroos en-route back into the bush from their nightly grass grazing.
Eastern Gray Kangaroos
The powerful forelimbs of the male kangaroo can be clearly seen in this photograph. Also note that his hind legs are much longer, with his hips being at the height of her shoulder.
Young Eastern Grey Kangaroo  Female
Although permanently out of the pouch, this female is obviously very young.
Young Eastern Grey Kangaroo  Female
The grass outside the study window is still attracting the kangaroos, even though recent rain means fresh food can be found in the bush too.
Young Eastern Grey Kangaroo  Female
Another shot of the youngest kangaroo. Now scroll back and compare forelimbs with the male’s. I find this power difference fascinating.

8 thoughts on “Family of Four

  1. In South Australia, the western grey kangaroo is close to plague numbers. Quite often I’ve seen up to fifty kangaroos in one place. They are at the point of needing to be controlled, and unfortunately many people don’t want that to happen. Sadly I’ve seen many of the small lilies and orchids suffer from the kangaroos. And when it is reaching the point that any plantings have to be fenced, it suggests there is a problem. Anyway, kangaroo meet can be very nice (if it is not over cooked).

    1. Interesting observations Helen. I must admit that I see lots of orchid leaves, and almost no flowers lately. I did wonder if the kangaroos were eating them – although much of the other native vegetation they seem to leave alone. They seem to prefer the more exotic cultivars from other regions of the world.

      Earlier today I was searching for the photos of the dead tree we felled for firewood, and on that same day I had taken a lot of photos of native flowers. I wondered if we just have many Winter and Spring varieties here? It might be worth my while going back through my old native flower photos and keeping a month by month photographic record of what I found last year, and compare it with the coming year. Potentially, the kangaroos are eating them, but also we haven’t had a lot of rain here either, and that could be another factor. I honestly don’t know what the kangaroo population in this area would be. Four is the most I’ve seen in a group, but as they are nocturnal, primarily, there could well be a lot more. Perhaps I just see the stragglers.

      In any case, this reflection has given me the inspriation to check through my photos – I’ll put what I find up on the blog. I’ll also ask some of the local people if they think there are more kangaroos around this year than there has been in the past. I guess they will have some idea if numbers are increasing or not. If I find out anything interesting, I’ll write a new post on that.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      Lisa

      1. I like the idea of comparing what you see each month for different years. I am aware that orchids (and lilies) may appear at one spot, and then not be seen for a very long time, and yet it is probably not always the consequence of animals eating them! Recently on OrchidNotes, Robert published a post on dormancy that you might be interested in reading (if you have not all ready).

        http://orchidnotes.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/dormancy-of-some-terrestrial-orchids/

        He discusses the idea of how orchids might not necessarily come up every year, and they could be there for years and never show themselves. To add an interesting fact, I’ve heard of colonies of orchids that have moved. It does sound a bit spooky, but with spread of seeds, or tubers under the ground, maybe they use up all the food they like and move on. No one really knows how it works. That is probably where it helps of record your own GPS locations and plot them to see if there are any changes but it would be over a very long time.

        You are fortunate that you are living on the land, next to the plants. That is a real bonus, and people like you can provide some really interesting observations. I’ll look forward to seeing what you post.

        And those kangaroos… Personally I believe that farmers should be able to cull a few kangaroos, or that some means should be made to control their numbers. Recently I was talking with someone who owns a vineyard, and he was saying that they eat the grapes and leaves, so it is not just the bush that is being effected. The hardest part is convincing the general population that they need controlling.

        Helen.

      2. Thanks Helen, you’re a font of information which I am soaking up. It’s useful to know that the orchids are a bit eratic in the way they move around or wait for a few seasons before reappearing. The rain situation here is frustrating. We get a little bit of rain, and lots of tiny leaves poke through the soil, then we have no rain for a week or so, and they all disappear or else seem to stay the same size. I’m sure that once we get steady rain I will see some flowers. I walked around today, having a very good look for flowers. Nothing native was in flower. I’ve looked at your blog and the photos of all of your lovely Autumn finds and I think there should be something flowering now. The three kangaroos were there again this morning. Maybe they like orchids?

        Anyway, I will continue to document he flowers I find, and I am happy if this helps in knowing the habits of native plants.

        Lisa

  2. As a follow-up to this discussion, I have been talking about kangaroos with locals over the past couple of days. They say that there are normal numbers of kangaroos this year, but due to the fire, they are in different locations. We would not normally see so many on our side of the district. This is interesting information.

    I had asked the previous owner if we had kangaroos on the property, and the answer I got at that time was “ocasionally we see a black wallaby”. Given the fruit trees were so beautiful when we arrived, and the garden was full of lush growth, I think they were probably not affected by kangaroos as much as we were this year.

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