Common Ostrich

Common Ostrich Struthio camelus

Type of Animal:

Savanna, grassland, semi-desert, desert, plains, woodlands, scrub

East & Southern Africa, Sahara, Sahel, most of Africa’s arid & semi-arid areas

Males are black with some white feathers on side, females brownish-grayish & much drabber than males.

Grasses, shrubs, seeds, roots, leaves, flowers. Also locusts, grasshoppers, mice, & lizards.

Status in Wild:

Breeding on farms, ranches, zoos, & wildlife parks. Farmed for meat and eggs.

Harem flocks comprise of a male, 5-7 hens & their chicks. Other males live in bachelor flocks of 8-20 birds. Flocks sometimes come together forming groups of up to 50 birds.

Additional Info:


Male-220-287 lbs
Female-198-242 lbs
Young-10-30 lbs

6 weeks

Male-6.9-9 ft
Female-5.7-6.2 ft

Body Length:
Male-13.8-14 ft
Female-11.4-12.4 ft

Life Span: 
30-50 years, up to 70 years in captivity

Tail Length:
1.4 ft

Main predators of adults are lions, spotted hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, & crocodiles. Brown & Striped Hyenas, jackals, pythons, caracals, servals, vultures, & large eagles prey on chicks only. Banded Mongooses only eat eggs.

Largest birds in world.

Ostriches can injure predators with a kick from their 4-inch claws.

Ostrich clutch size 4-78 per nest, sometimes more.

Known to eat sand & small rocks to digest food.

Ostrich farms are well-known in the U.S, Australia, & South Africa.

Can often be seen w/ grazing mammals.

Fun Fact(s):
Largest eye of any land animal, measuring 1.9 in across.

They can run 60 mph, making them fastest bird on land & fastest 2-legged animal in world.

Unlike all other birds, urine secreted separately from feces.

Ostrich racing very popular in Middle East & Africa.

Contrary to popular belief, ostriches don’t bury their heads in the sand.

Ostrich kick can disembowel a human. Especially watch out for ostriches guarding nests/chicks. Many male ostriches plain nasty all year-round.

Besides being largest birds, they also lay largest eggs of any bird, measuring 3 lbs, 5.1 inches wide, & 5.9 inches long. Interestingly, smallest eggs relative to size of adult bird.

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