Red-Necked Ostrich

The Red-Necked Ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) is a large flightless bird in the Struthionidae family of ratites. It is also known as the North African Ostrich or the Barbary Ostrich. It is a sub-species of the Common Ostrich. It is related to the emu, rhea, cassowary, and kiwi. 

The male Red-Necked Ostrich is black with white tail feathers, a featherless red neck, and red thighs. The female and young male have grey feathers. It has the largest eyes of any land vertebrate. Its legs have no feathers. The Red-Necked Ostrich has two toes on each foot, whereas most birds have four toes and emus have three toes.  

It cannot fly because its feathers lack the tiny hooks that lock together to make external feathers smooth for flying. Its long legs and large wings makes it able to zigzag when it runs. 

Red-Necked Ostrich (male)

It grows to 270 centimetres (9 feet) in height. Its wingspan is about 200 centimetres (6.5 feet).

It is found in north Africa from Ethiopia and Sudan to Senegal.

The Red-Necked Ostrich is a browser, feeding on plants and trees.

It lives in nomadic herds of up to 50 birds. 

The female Red-Necked Ostrich lays one large, cream-coloured egg in a communal nest shared with other female ostriches. The ostrich egg is the largest egg in the world, measuring about 15 centimetres (6 inches) long. The egg takes about 35-45 days to hatch.

Its lifespan can be up to 40–45 years.

Red-Necked Ostrich (male)
Red-Necked Ostrich (male and female)
Red-Necked Ostrich (female)
Red-Necked Ostrich (female)
Red-Necked Ostrich (male)
Red-Necked Ostrich (male)

Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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