Did you know?
* The Ostrich is the largest living bird in the world.
* It is of the Ratite family, which means flightless bird. * The Ostrich is native to Africa, yet thrives in countries all over the world. * Adult males are eight to ten feet in height and weigh 350-400 pounds. * A male Ostrich is called a rooster and a female Ostrich is called a hen. * The male is black with white wing tips and tail plumes. * The female has light brown and grey plumage and is slightly smaller than the male. * This great bird has two toes, all other birds have three or four toes. * The Ostrich can run at speeds of up to 40 MPH for sustained times. * An Ostrich will live to be 50 - 75 years old.
* Although an ostrich egg is the largest of all eggs, it is the smallest egg in relation to the size of the bird. * The Ostrich egg will weigh 1600 gm and is equivalent to 2 dozen chicken eggs. * An Ostrich Hen can lay 40 -100 eggs per year, averaging about 60 eggs per year. * Ostrich eggs hatch in 42 days.
* An Ostrich chick grows one foot taller each month until it is 7-8 months old. * Females sit on eggs by day; males sit on eggs by night. * To soft boil a fresh egg would take one hour. To hard boil would take 1 1/2 hours. * Ostrich farming is a viable alternative agriculture industry, with fine quality leather, feathers and gourmet meat as the principal products.
Introducing the Emu
Emu (pronounced either e-mew or e-moo depending on where you're from) are a large flightless bird native to Australia. These birds, known for their curious nature, have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) are a member of the ratite, which means flightless bird, family. Other ratites include the ostrich, moa, rhea, cassowary, and kiwi, as well as the extinct aepyornis (click to read more about this bird). Emu are the largest bird on the Australian continent and the second largest in the world. What bird is the largest bird? That would be the emu's cousin the ostrich. Emus eat insects and caterpillars as well as seeds, nuts, shoots, flowers, and small rodents and lizards. They are picky eaters and would rather starve than eat old leaves or grass. They are shy birds that prefer to use their long legs to run than to fight. They are known for their curiosity and have been known to eat nails and bits of tin! Hunters can easily persuade a wild emu to come close by hiding in long grass and waving a colored handkerchief on the end of a stick. Where They Live
Today emus live around the world on farms and ranches and in zoos. They can still be found running wild in the western part of Australia where the land is rugged and less-populated. Emus tend to avoid thick forest and desert areas and can live well in temperature extremes from 100º to below zero. They generally live mainly on grassy plains and dry open forests. Before humans came to Australia thousands of years ago, emus wandered all over the country.
Emus are frequently on the move from place to place looking for new water and food sources and don't stay in one place for very long. They are able to travel great distances at a fast pace. The only time they're not on the move is when the males are sitting on the eggs and a short time after the chicks are born. After the chicks get old enough the flock begins to move again, though slowly. While emus usually travel in flocks they generally prefer to be alone with little to no need for company and mutual grooming. What They Look Like
Some emus have an attractive bluish hue on their mostly feather-less neck. The intensity of the color varies based on the season of the year, changes in surroundings and behavior of nearby birds. When females are getting ready to lay their eggs their head and neck are covered with black feathers.
They have two dull brown, hair-like feathers that grow out of each opening in the emu's skin. The...