What are Ostriches?

Ostriches are birds, but they are particularly known for being the largest of their kind in the entire world. Ostriches do have wings, like most birds, but their large size and weight prevents them from being able to fly.

Ostriches are only found to be living in the wild in the African continent, but they are a common feature in zoos around the world.


Ostrich appearance

Ostriches look very different than most other kinds of birds. Their necks and legs are very long and thin, and they have very large bodies to support. Their beaks can be pretty large as well, which makes it easy for them to snap at their prey.

Ostrich legs and necks are usually a tan color, and their feathers on their body are usually black with white tips on their wings for males, or grey for females. Ostriches can weight up to 300 pounds, and can reach heights of 9 feet!

Ostriches also have 2 inch wide eyes, making them the biggest eyes known to all land animals! They also have talons, or claws, on their feet that can grow up to 4 inches long, making them very deadly when they need to fight.

Interestingly, ostriches are the only type of bird to only have two toes on each foot, as opposed to other species of birds, which have three or four toes on each foot.

Ostrich Running


Ostriches are very large and very powerful, so they are able to make meals out of almost anything they come across.

They are omnivores, which means that they will happily eat plants or small animals. Sometimes they have been known to eat lizards.

Ostriches have also been known to eat small rocks in order to help break down food in their stomachs and help the digestion process.

Ostrich behavior

Ostriches are known to live in groups with many other ostriches, called a herd. These herds can range from 10 ostriches, which is the average, to as many as 100 ostriches.

The purpose of the herds is to gather and protect each other from predators. They also work together to care for all of the herd’s eggs in the same nest, so that they can all share the responsibility of watching over the eggs and protecting them.

Ostrich Nest

Additional information about ostriches

Ostriches have the largest eggs of any other known animal, with the average weight of ostrich eggs coming in at around 3 pounds.

Ostriches are known to be very fast indeed, even able to run up to 40 miles an hour. Their wings, even though they can’t help them fly, are great for balance when they run very fast.

Their powerful legs are also very useful for kicking any possible predators or prey, much like kangaroos. Single kicks from ostriches can be deadly to even very large animals, like lions!

Finally, ostriches do not actually put their heads into holes in the ground, as they are often shown to be doing in cartoons.

The reason that it might seem like ostriches stick their heads into the ground is because they will sometimes lay down with their heads on the ground to hide from predators.