Ostrich

The most common Ostriches are the large flightless birds native to central and southern Africa. They belong to a group of birds known as ratties which include other large long legged flightless birds such as Emus, Rheas and Kiwis. Although these birds cannot fly, they are known for the impressive speed which reaches up to 70km/hr (43mph). 

As of 2014, there are two different species of ostriches which are the common ostrich and the Somali ostrich. Ostriches are diurnal species typically more active during dusk and dawn. Their sharp sense of sight and hearing helps them detect danger  early and their powerful legs are used to ward off predators. 

Common ostriches once lived all across the majority of Africa and certain parts of western Asia, but now they reside predominantly in the savannahs or northern and southern Africa, with some populations in southern Africa occupying an arid, desert-like environment. The average territory for a male is between 2-20 square kilometres. 

The average lifespan of an ostrich is 30 to 45 years but in a managed environment, they have been known to live over 50 years. They follow a polygynous reproduction system where one male keeps a harem of 2-7 females for breeding. Although he breeds with multiple, he develops a bond with one female who becomes the dominant one. The breeding season begins in March and lasts until September.

Ostrich @ Safari Niagara

  • Safari Niagara is home to one male and two female ostriches.
  • Their paddock is located just across from the budgie exhibit.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Struthioniformes
Family:Struthionidae
Genus:Struthio
Species:S. camelus

Did you know?

  • Ostrich eggs are the largest eggs in the world.
  • Ostriches are omnivores that consume grasses, roots, seeds and other plants as well as invertebrates and small reptiles.
  • Ostriches communicate without a wide range of noises like chirping, honking, hissing and booming.