A cassowary with a flotation device bathes in a backyard bird bath. A surprised woman observes through a window, calling for her husband.

One day, I would like to acquire a bird bath for the backyard. For many years, the cat I owned was the main reason I didn’t have one. Installing a bird bath back then would have been like inviting my cat to a smorgasbord feast.

Now that the cat has passed on, I have been giving the bird bath some thought. I like the idea of offering birds a place to rest and bathe, especially during the hot summer months. I imagine that the main birds attracted to a bird bath here would be pigeons, crows, mudlarks, magpies and starlings, but wouldn’t it be nice if bird baths in temperate zones attracted exotic and/or tropical birds such as toucans, birds of paradise or even cassowaries?

The drawing above is my interpretation of the latter in singular form. A cassowary would also be good for keeping unwanted guests such as burglars out of the backyard and there would be no need to worry about a cat pouncing on a cassowary, unless of course one keeps a big cat such as a tiger or leopard in the yard. With a domestic cat however, the worry becomes the cassowary attacking it.

Another problem with a cassowary in a bird bath is that it would most likely be a deterrent to other would-be bathers. Smaller birds are not going to be confronting cassowaries for a place in the water. Perhaps some kind of ticketing system could work whereby each bird could take a number, entitling them to a given amount of time in the bird bath. Who would regulate such a system is beyond the scope of this rambling speculation.

I’m not sure if cassowaries are good swimmers. My research didn’t extend that far, but I opted to give this one a flotation device just in case. He or she looks rather appreciative of it.