Strewthuas are tall ostrich-like avians who are at home in the water. These stunning creatures can be found along the shores of the Salts. They spend their days swimming in the Salts bay, and come ashore in the evenings to roost in their elaborate nests.
Strewthuas build their nests just past the sandy beaches at the edge of the jungle. They use sticks and twigs, and weave them into large sturdy structures that are large enough for two grown Strewthuas. Next, they place large rocks around the nests to ensure they do not get washed away in a high tide.
These unique waterfowl have specialized glands to allow them to drink sea water. As they drink, the salt is separated out and excreted from their bodies. This grants them the ability to open their large beaks wide and skim fish from the waters. When there is no salt to excrete, this unusual gland acts like a musical instrument. Much like a siren’s song, the sounds are so beautiful they often lure other creatures to the nests of the Strewthua. The birds attack with their strong beaks and sharp teeth, and even large animals can be taken down by a group of Strewthuas.
Strewthuas are usually floating on surface of the water or lying in their nest. However, they shockingly stand close to eight feet tall. Lining their faces and their backs are hardened, shimmering feathers in greens and blues. Their necks and bodies look like iridescent metallic scales, changing in hue as the sun’s light reflects off of them.
Photos by Keith May of May Photo