The ostrich is flightless bird that actually native in the country. It is the largest living bird and has managed to generate a lot of curiosity among people due to its large body size and inability to fly.
The ostrich belongs to the ratite family of bird. The male ostrich is called a rooster while a female ostrich is called a hen. The ostrich’s eye measures almost two inches across which makes it the largest eye of land animal. The ostrich is the largest and heaviest living bird in the world.
The bird is flightless bird for many reasons. 1st it has small and loose feathers and does not have a breast bone which is common to most birds. An ostrich can go onto life for almost fifty years.
An ostrich habitat varies and though they were initially found in the savannah region and certain parts in the country. Female ostriches have the uncanny ability to recognize her own eggs, even if they are mixed with those of other female ostrich in their communal nest.
An ostrich hen can lay somewhere between forty to hundred eggs in a year. One ostrich egg weighs 1.6kg or 1600 grams, which is equivalent to the weight of about twenty four chicken eggs and takes two hours to hard boil. An ostrich egg hatches in forty two days. Ostriches are very powerful birds much so that a single kick to a predator like a lion , dogs or hyena could prove to be fatal.
Ostrich can run at a pace of up to 70 km/h. thus, they can outrun most land predators such as lions, leopards and hyenas. A fully grown ostrich has one of the strongest and most advanced immune systems known to mankind. Despite being a flightless bird, ostrich have wings which serve much other purpose. Ostrich hold their wings out to help them maintain their balance when they run, which specially comes in handy of the suddenly change direction while the main purpose of their wings is to display them along with their tail feathers during courtship. To show dominance an ostrich holds its head up high and lifts its wings and its tail feathers. To show submission, the head, wings and tail drop down.
When an ostrich senses a danger and cannot run away, it flops to the ground and remains still with its head and neck flat on the ground in front of it. As the head and neck are light colored, they seem to blend with the soil which makes it look like the ostrich has buried its head in the sand. Ostrich meat resembles beef in its appearance and is cooked in a similar manner as the beef. This meat is very low in cholesterol and is almost free of fat. Ostriches are omnivores and they eat whatever is available in their habitat at different times of the year, they mostly eat plants, especially the roots, seeds and leaves. They enjoy munching on insects like locusts and small animals like lizards.
They get adequate amount of water from plants they eat. Although they drink water if they reach a pond or water holes. They prefer to live in groups which help them to keep predators at bay. Due their long necks and keen vision, they can see long distances and from a distance. The ostrich has only two toes on each foot, which helps to give it more speed while running.
Peter K. Philip
Natural Track Safaris