STATUSLeast Concern


DIETPlants, roots, seeds, lizards, eggs, and frogs; rocks and stones for gizzard

RANGECentral and southern Africa

HABITATSemi-arid woodlands, grasslands, and plains


Physical Description

Males are 7-9 feet tall, can weigh more than 300 lbs, and have striking black and white feathers. While females, known as hens, are around 6 feet tall, weigh up to 220 lbs, and have grayish-brown feathers. They have “wings” but are unable to use them to fly because they are too heavy. Instead, they use their wings for balance, for displays and courtship, and to show dominance or submission.


As the largest living bird with a powerful kick that can kill various types of predators, not many animals will risk attacking an ostrich. Their main predators include lions and painted dogs for adults and hyenas, jackals, and Egyptian vultures for their eggs.


It is unknown what the average lifespan for an ostrich is in the wild, but under human care, they can live 30-40 years.

Fun Facts

  • Ostriches are excellent runners, reaching speeds of up to 43 mph, while using their wings as “rudders” to change direction or as a “parachute” to slow down.
  • They lay the largest eggs on the planet! Each egg weighs around 3 lbs. Only dinosaurs laid bigger eggs.

Conservation Messaging

Our Ostriches and Zebras are found throughout different areas of Africa. Like many other animals in Africa, habitat loss has been increasing due to human encroachment. Agriculture, infrastructure, and resource extraction are just a few of the contributions to the destruction of wildlife habitats in Africa.

One thing that we can do is support sustainable agriculture practices. By purchasing products that are certified such as Bird Friendly Coffee, you are helping in the conservation of forests and habitats around the world.

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