Featuring a Flightless Bird: The Ostrich

Can you imagine growing as tall as an adult within a year and a half? This is how fast ostriches grow—and they grow tall! In fact, typically reaching eight feet, male ostriches are the largest living birds.

Though these birds have wings, they are unable to fly. Instead, they use their two legs to travel and escape from enemies. These strong, long legs help ostriches reach speeds of 39 miles per hour. Their legs are also unique because each is attached to a foot that has only two toes.

Another unusual aspect of this species is its complicated mating and breeding process. Male ostriches use their wings to attract females by performing a courtship dance. The male then prepares several nests for the female he has attracted. Female ostriches pick one of these nests and begin laying eggs. They lay about one egg every two days. On average, a female lays between five and 11 eggs per breeding cycle.

Meanwhile, a female’s mate also breeds with several other females, who will lay their eggs in the same nest. The dominant female raises the clutch of 20-30 eggs together in the nest with her mate. After breeding, nesting, and hatching, the groups spend their time eating, resting, dust-bathing, and smoothing their feathers.

Ostriches thrive in the short-grass savannahs and semi-desert regions of Africa. They prefer to inhabit areas without long grass, woods, and humans because predators may be hiding in these places, waiting to catch and eat them. Ostriches gather in small groups that join as flocks around areas abundant in food and water.

These huge flightless birds are odd to look at, and their behaviors are even more interesting.

[Source: Wildlife Explorer]