The Largest Birds in the World
The largest bird in the world is the ostrich, a flightless bird that weighs up to 160 kg and stands almost 3 m. high. The flightless ostrich is the world’s largest bird. They roam African savanna and desert lands and get most of their water from the plants they eat.
Although this largest bird is native to Africa, ostriches are farmed around the world including countries as far north as Finland. An ostrich egg weighs approximately 1.4 pounds, the largest bird of any bird egg in the world. After hatching, it can live up to 70 years, but its average life span is 50 years.
Though they cannot fly, ostriches are fleet, strong runners. Tis largest bird can sprint up to 43 miles (70 kilometers) an hour and run over distance at 31 miles (50 kilometers) an hour. They may use their wings as “rudders” to help them change direction while running. An ostrich’s powerful, long legs can cover 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters) in a single stride. These legs can also be formidable weapons. Ostrich kicks can kill a human or a potential predator like a lion. Each two-toed foot has a long, sharp claw.
Ostriches live in small herds that typically contain less than a dozen birds. Alpha males maintain these herds, and mate with the group’s dominant hen. The male sometimes mates with others in the group, and wandering males may also mate with lesser hens.
Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. The old saw probably originates with one of the bird’s defensive behaviors. At the approach of trouble, ostriches will lie low and press their long necks to the ground in an attempt to become less visible. Their plumage blends well with sandy soil and, from a distance, gives the appearance that they have buried their heads in the sand. Plants, roots, and seeds but will also eat insects, lizards, or other creatures available in their sometimes harsh habitat is the food for this largest bird.