(269) 979-1351 - info@binderparkzoo.org

OSTRICH

OSTRICHStruthio camelus

Conservation Status: Low Risk / Least Concern

statusbar

CLASS

Aves

ORDER

Struthioniformes

FAMILY

Struthionidae

Learn More

General Characteristics

Color: 

Males are black and white; females are gray - brown plumage.

Size:

5.7 - 9 feet tall

Weight:

139 – 345 lbs

Average Lifespan: 

12-14 years

Captive Lifespan:

Up to 50 years

Distribution:

Africa, excluding tropical forest belt

Habitat:

Open woodlands, savanna, arid shrubland, desert, and grasslands

Reproduction:

Mating: 

Varies regionally, often correlating with the rainy season

Gestation/Incubation:

42 days

Litter/Clutch Size:

13 eggs

Mature: 

Males: 3-4 years; Females: 2 years

Diet:

Graze on green grass and browses on shrubs, succulents, and seeds.

Behavior:

Diurnal, spends squattling on the ground. Very vigilant when feeding, continually raising its head to look around.

Teaching Facts:

1. When running in alarm, it can reach speeds of 45 mph.

2. The territorial call of the male is a roar, resembling the roar of a lion.

3. The first female to lay eggs in a nest becomes the major hen of the male that owns the nest, she dominates all other hens.

4. Breeding success is low, with average of one chick per incubated nest surviving.