Southern Ostrich

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Common Name: Southern Ostrich
Scientific Name: Struthio camelus australis

Size: 96 inches (2.5 m)

Habitat: Africa; south of the Zambezi and Cunene rivers.

Found in a diverse number of habitats from sand flats and grasslands, to open and dense thorn brush velds, to Mupane woodlands, as well as steep and rocky slopes.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: Unknown.

Diet: Grasses, shrubs, seeds, roots, leaves and flowers. Occasionally they consume locusts and grasshoppers. They have also been known to eat small animals, such as lizards and mice.

Nesting: The Southern Ostrich had blue-grey skin on the neck and legs. The males have black feathers, while the females and juveniles have dark grey to grey-brown feathers.

Ostriches are polygamous. The male gathers around him a harem of three to five females, all of which lay their eggs in the same nest over a three week period. Ostrich mating and egg laying will occur shortly before the onset of the rainy season, so that when the chicks hatch there will be plenty of food to sustain them until they are several months old. The completed clutch is incubated by the male at night and the dominant female during the day.

Cool Facts: It was once farmed for its feathers in the Little Karoo area of Cape Province.

Found in Songbird ReMix Ostriches

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