today we present you information about the ostrich.
It is the largest living bird on earth with a height of 170 to 250 cm and a weight of up to 145 kg. It cannot fly, although its wings are relative big, but it runs with a speed of up to 70 km per hour. The legs and the neck are long, the eyes big. Ostriches lay the largest eggs of any living bird.
The males have black feathers with a white tail and some white feathers on the wings, females have a more brownish feathering with a white-grey tail.
Young ostriches have the colors of the females, while the very young chicks are brown with dark spots.
The color of the ostrich’s neck and legs ranges from grey to light pink.
The feet have only two toes with sharp claws which can be used as weapons.
As mentioned before the wings are big, but the ostrich is too heavy to fly. Instead, the wings are used for courtship and for balance while running.
Ostriches live in the savannah and deserts all around sub-Saharan Africa, but they were also brought to other parts of the world like Australia. Dry seasons are no problem, because these animals get all their daily fluid requirement out of their food which mainly contains leaves, grass and herbs. But they also eat small insects and some fruits.
Living in small groups, there is a special hierarchy which can cause battles for dominance. During breeding season, the groups disband and the males start collecting females for their harem.
The myth that ostriches bury their heads in the sand is wrong, but they sometimes lay down when they see any danger and then the head is no longer seen. Another option in dangerous situations is a kick with their strong legs. A kick like this can even kill a lion! But usually the ostriches just run away when they see any enemy (especially predators).
A male ostrich can make a sound almost like the roaring lion. It is repeated a couple of times and is produced during mating season and dominance battles. Both male and female also can produce a sound which is more like whistling and snarling.
In East Africa there are a lot of ostriches, you will find them in Serengeti National Park for example. Then your safari guide will give you even more interesting information about this fascinating bird.