Awesome Ostrich

Ostrich, male, East Africa

Ostrich, male, Kenya, Africa

Spotting a wild ostrich on the plains of East Africa is a treat.  Getting up close to one is nearly impossible.  A large, flightless bird weighing over 200 pounds, they are much faster than one would expect, and often disappear instantly.

 

Clocked at 43 miles per hour, the ostrich’s speed is unrivaled by many predators who resort to cunning tactics like trapping them instead.  Their long list of foreboding African predators include lions, leopards, wild dogs, and hyenas to name a few.  The cheetah, the fastest animal in the world, is their most successful predator.  Ostrich eggs are the largest of all eggs, at 5.9 inches long, and are preyed on by jackals, vultures, mongoose and warthogs.

 

Ostriches, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ostriches, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Struthio camelus eat a lot of grass, trees, and shrubs along with some insects like locusts.  When you come across one it often has its head close to the ground, grazing.  With their acute hearing and eyesight, and great speed, they disappear quickly and all you are left with is a distant image of this big beautiful bird distorted in a heat wave.

 

In addition to defenses such as speed, height (9 feet tall!), hearing and eyesight, ostrich also have a powerful kick.  They kick forward and can cause serious injury and death with their blow.  They also use camouflage as a defense.  When in danger they will lay low on the ground, camouflaging as a mound of earth.  Contrary to a popular myth, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand.  Puleeze, they are smarter than that.  For more information about the ostrich, click here. 

 

A bird that doesn’t fly, weighs over 200 pounds, and has lions, cheetahs, and hyenas chasing after it — now that’s a super hero.

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

 

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Awesome Ostrich

  1. Every time I see an Ostrich comes to my mind that: From the neck down their body structure is very similar to what a Velociraptor used to be. In fact even the famous lethal kicks come to mind. Thanks Jet for this interesting post! 🙂

  2. Hello Jet!
    I’m so happy for this feature on this really cool bird. I think Ostriches can always use great publicity and more enthusiasm 🙂 My favourite zoo has Ostriches and I always make it a point to visit them ❤ I like the comment about their 'dinosaur-like' characteristics. It never occurred to me before, but I like it 😀
    Best wishes to you & Athena,
    Takami

  3. Considering that every time we wash the car, a bird finds a way to leave a gift on the windscreen, I am definitely happy no ostrich will fly anytime soon haha 🙂 They are gorgeous birds, that’s for sure. Great info. Thank you for sharing!

    • Somehow you have an eye for some of my favorite photos, Teagan. That photo was taken in the Ngorongoro Crater (where living is different), otherwise you probably wouldn’t see two ostriches sitting on the ground. Thanks so much for your comment, and have a great day! 😀

  4. OM! No, I won’t bury my head in the sand (you said it’s a myth …) and start running like a Struthio camelus ( their Greek name) … I stay here,they won’t kick me, I admire the fabulous photos and read your lovely post Jet Dear !We all have seen this human size or taller beautiiful bird but not in the wild.They are huge Jet !They are flightless but they have wings though,and those stick-like long legs impress me to see they carry such weight,they must be very strong,they make them great runners and also they use them as weapon.Love this face to face couple sitting on the grass,it must be a he and a she,If I judge from the colour of their plumage.Thank you so much Jet for all the info that brings us closer to nature’s wonders 🙂 xxx

    • This was a colorful and fun comment and I smile as I type, dear Doda. Yes, imagine how strong those legs must be to carry all that weight, run so fast, and serve as a weapon too. And yes, your astute observation is correct, the two ostriches facing each other are a couple. In the background, barely visible, are hundreds of flamingos. I am so happy to share the creatures I have seen with you, and very much appreciate your passion and enthusiasm, Doda. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day, I know you are working on something big as you mentioned it recently, and I appreciate your time here, my dear friend. 😀 😀

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