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2012-02-02
What bird has the largest eyeball?


The Ostrich – an eye diameter of 5cm or 2in.

The Ostrich - Struthio camelus- is the world's tallest and heaviest bird. They are flightless birds, found in savanna and arid regions of Africa. Ostriches are strong runners and can sprint at speeds up to 43 miles (70 kilometers) an hour. Ostriches begin breeding at the age of 4 and their lifespan is between 30 to 70 years.

Description

Adult males are mostly black, with white primaries and a white tail. Females and young males are grayish-brown and white. The head and neck of both male and female Ostriches is nearly bare, with a thin layer of down. The skin of the female’s neck and thighs is pinkish gray, while the male's is pinkish red. The neck and legs are long and their eyes are largest of any land vertebrate. They have acute eyesight and hearing.

Call

They have a pouch in their throat and are used for communication. They make deep booming, drumming, and grunting sounds.

Food

Food consists mainly of plants, roots, and seeds. They will also eat insects, lizards, or other creatures available when food is scarce. They swallow pebbles to grind food in the gizzard. Ostriches get most of their water from the plants they eat.

Breeding

The Breeding season is from March to September. The territorial male will breed with all the females in his territory, but will only form a pair bond with the dominant female. The females will lay their fertilized eggs in a single communal nest. The dominant female lays her eggs first, and when it is time to cover them for incubation she discards extra eggs from the weaker females. The eggs are incubated by the females by day and by the males by night. The eggs are incubated for between 35 to 45 days. The male defends the hatchlings and teaches them to feed, although males and females cooperate in rearing chicks. The Ostrich lays the largest egg of any living bird in the world.

Conservation status – Least Concern

The wild Ostrich population has declined drastically in the last 200 years, with most surviving birds in reserves or on farms.

Bird watching

These amazing birds can be seen on the following Aves Birding Tours/Safaris/Adventures: -

Aves Arid Birding Tour / Safari /Adventure.

Aves Eastern Cape Birding Tour / Safari /Adventure.

Aves Highlands / Tembe Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves KZN Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North East Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North West Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves Western Cape Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves West Coast Birding Tour / Safari /Adventure.

 


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