Common Ostrich

Common Ostrich

Struthio camelus

Least Concern

The Common Ostrich, with its towering stature and swift legs, is a magnificent spectacle of the African savannas. As the world's largest bird, it cannot take to the skies, but its long, powerful strides make it a master of the land. Sporting a bold contrast of black and white feathers, the males are a striking sight, while the more subdued females blend seamlessly with the arid landscapes they roam. Despite their size, these gentle giants lead a life of simple pleasures, grazing and basking under the warm sun, a symbol of the wild's grandeur and grace.

Appearance and Identification

Primary Color


Primary Color (female)


Primary Color (juvenile)


Secondary Colors


Secondary Colors (female)

Grey, White

Secondary Colors (juvenile)


Secondary Colors (seasonal)

Wing Color


Wing Color (female)


Wing Color (juvenile)


Beak Type

Flat and broad

Beak Color


Beak Color (female)


Beak Color (juvenile)


Leg Color


Leg Color (female)


Leg Color (juvenile)


Distinctive Markings

Males have bold black and white plumage, females and young are more drab

Distinctive Markings (female)

Less pronounced than males

Distinctive Markings (juvenile)

Camouflaged with environment

Tail Description

Short and stumpy

Tail Description (female)

Short and less contrasting

Tail Description (juvenile)

Short and stumpy

Size Metrics

200cm to 275cm


200cm to 250cm


63kg to 145kg



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Vocalization and Sounds

Primary Calls

Booming, hissing, and whistling

Call Description

Loud booming noises can be heard up to several kilometers away

Alarm Calls

Hissing when threatened

Behavior and Social Structure

Daily Activities

Diurnal, spending the day foraging, resting and dust-bathing

Social Habits

Gregarious, forming flocks with complex social structures

Territorial Behavior

Territorial during breeding season, with males defending their territories

Migratory Patterns

Nomadic movements in response to environmental conditions

Interaction with Other Species

Generally peaceful but can be aggressive during breeding season


Primary Diet

Plants, Insects, Lizards, Small rodents

Feeding Habits

Herbivorous and omnivorous, grazing on plants and occasionally consuming small animals

Feeding Times

Mainly in the cooler morning and evening hours

Prey Capture Method

Pecking and grabbing with their beak

Diet Variations

Depends on seasonal availability of food

Special Dietary Needs (if any)

Requires grit and pebbles to aid digestion


Nesting Location

Open ground

Nest Construction

Shallow depression in earth, sometimes lined with grass and leaves

Breeding Season

Varies with location, usually during the dry season

Number of clutches (per breeding season)

Up to three, sometimes more

Egg Appearance

Glossy cream-colored with thick shells

Egg Size

15cm long and 13cm wide

Clutch Characteristics

5-11 eggs, communal nests may have more

Incubation Period

35-45 days

Fledgling Period

3-4 months

Parental Care

Females and males take turns incubating; males defend the nest

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

Sub-Saharan Africa

Habitat Description

Savannas, grasslands, semi-deserts

Elevation Range

Up to 3000 meters

Migration Patterns

Nomadic movements in response to environmental conditions


Grassland, Savanna

Climate zones

Subtropical, Tropical

Distribution Map

Please note, this range and distribution map is a high-level overview, and doesn't break down into specific regions and areas of the countries.

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