Ostrich at Our Long Island Zoo

Long Island Ostrich

The ostrich, with its flightless nature, is the largest species of bird on Earth. They weigh anywhere from 140 to 320 pounds and are able to reach up to nine feet in height. The ostrich resides in the deserts and savannas of Africa, although they are able to adapt to many different types of climates. In addition to being the biggest of birds, the ostrich is also the fastest; they are able to run up to 43 miles per hour while their legs cover 10 to 16 feet in one solitary stride.

Adult male ostriches are colored blue/gray while their feathers are of black coloring. Female and young male ostriches are colored pink/gray and have feathers that are gray/brown.

Ostriches do not have teeth and therefore ingest soft nutrients such as plants, seeds, flowers and grass in addition to insects, such as locusts, and small lizards.

Whenever a predator is spotted by an ostrich, they force their long, sandy-colored necks onto the ground as a camouflage tactic. They do not bury their heads in the sand, contrary to popular belief; it only poses as an illusion that they have their heads in the sand, as in reality, their necks are on the ground when avoiding predators. Their speed is another effective way they are able to dodge predators.

Ostriches spend the winter months in pairs or unaccompanied. However, in times of drought, they travel in groups of about 50, even traveling with zebras or other such grazing animals. Ostriches function well early in the day, in addition to very late at night.

The ostrich was hunted heavily in the past; however, it is not currently endangered.