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February 28, 2010

All By Myself

Camera Critters

This week I’m posting a photo of an ostrich, taken at Wellington Zoo. I have actually seen ostriches in the wild and have vivid memories of a male ostrich with twelve chicks running after him. This ostrich is a loner.


A few facts about ostriches:

1. They’re the world’s largest flightless bird.
2. They live in savannah and desert lands and get most of their water from their food.
3. Ostrich kicks are capable of killing both humans and predators such as lions.
4. Ostriches live in small herds with an alpha male taking charge (I wonder if anyone has written an ostrich shifter???)
5. Ostriches do not hide their heads in the sand, but they do lie low and attempt to flatten themselves against the ground as a way of hiding.
6. Ostrich meat is delicious to eat (according to Mr. Munro) and very healthy for you.
7. They live for about 30 – 40 years in the wild.

Source: National Geographic

To see more animal photographs visit Camera Critters.


  1. Michelle B.

    Hmmm, Ostrich Shifter that could definitely be interesting…they are quite powerful & unique…I think the most unique shifter story I’ve read had a Scorpion shifter as the main character…

    Are you having any effects from the tsunami generated by the Chilean quake??

    Michelle B. aka Koshkalady

  2. Müge

    Thank you for this very interesting informative post. I saw ostriches at the zoo and they were not as friendly as I was imagining but maybe because they were captured.

  3. Maria Zannini

    This brings back memories. I used to raise emu and rheas (cousins of the ostrich).

    Ostrich was too expensive to raise at the time, but I spent considerable time learning their physiology at a center that focused on ratites. The meat is delicious and low fat.

    I miss raising my flightless birds. They were amazing creatures and so much fun to watch.

  4. Mary

    I remember feeding ostriches at a petting zoo when I was a kid. It was so cool. They have such pretty eyes.

  5. Grandma

    Great picture. He looks as if he posed for it. The narrative was quite informative as well.

  6. Debra Kayn

    Maria- That is so neat that you raised emus…I live on a farm, and I have always wanted to get a few emus. Never could talk my hubs into it though. :lol:

    Shelley-When my kids were little they loved the book series “Animorphs” Those kid characters turned into all animals and I remember one of them turning into an ostrich. Although in a romance book…I just can’t imagine. lol

  7. Jaime

    I’ve seen a few at the zoo (and have eaten Emu). They are odd looking critters. :lol:

  8. Kaye Manro

    An interesting bird. I wonder if they could be tamed as pets?

  9. Cari Quinn

    I love learning more about the different animals you showcase on your blog, Shelley! Ostrichs are neat birds.

  10. Shelley Munro

    Michelle – we did have tidal surges in some places and on the film coverage you could actually see the sand and debris stirred up. On the whole, our civil defence did a great job. I couldn’t believe that some people knew about the warnings and went swimming or took their dogs and their coffees to the beach. :eek:
    My heart goes out to the people in Chile.

    LOL – about the ostrich shifter. Somehow, they don’t strike me as romantic or seem to have hero traits.

  11. Shelley Munro

    Muge – This fella wasn’t that friendly either. They’re quite social birds so I bet he wants company.

  12. Shelley Munro

    Maria – we have a few emu farms here in NZ and around fifty years ago they had an ostric farm near where we lived. They used the feathers for ladies hats.

    How intelligent are they? Are they easy to farm?

  13. Shelley Munro

    Oops – that would be ostrich.

  14. Shelley Munro

    Debra – LOL – no, I can’t quite get my head around an ostrich shifter either. I’m grinning as I type this…it just doesn’t seem right.

  15. Shelley Munro

    Jaime – they probably think we are weird too. :lol:

    Kaye – I’m sure they could. Maria might be able to answer that question.

  16. Shelley Munro

    Thanks, Cari. I learn lots when I do these posts as well.

  17. Maria Zannini

    Shelley: For birds, they are fairly bright. But sometimes their curiosity gets them killed. They will swallow most anything shiny (or bad for them)!

    Emu are the most docile.
    Ostrich are the most dangerous.
    (Male) Rhea have the COOLEST booming sound you have ever heard. On foggy mornings, you could almost imagine being back in prehistoric times.

    Fairly easy to maintain once you have a good enclosure, but it’s important not to let the chicks grow too fast or they’ll develop rickets.

    I really enjoyed them, but they are tough to wrangle when it comes time to slaughter. A good herding dog is worth his weight in gold.

    Thanks for bringing back such fond memories.

    PS Kaye, I don’t know how pet-like you like your birds. They’ll follow you about and eat out of your hand, but the males (especially ostrich) can be dangerous, more so when there are females about.

    Emu are pretty laid back. I’ve never had one become aggressive, but the rhea which is the closest relative to the ostrich can get mean.

    I used to have gladiatorial fights with one particular male rhea who thought he was in charge. LOL!

  18. sandra cox

    Ooh, good facts. Ostrich shifter, huh? Hmmm.

  19. Shelley Munro

    Maria – thanks for your info. Now that you’ve said about the birds and shiney objects I think I’ve heard that before.

    I think they sound like fun birds to farm. A good dog is necessary for any farmer, I think. I know my father’s dogs are worth their weight in gold.

    Sandra – you don’t think an ostrich shifter will work? :lol:

  20. Regina

    Cool and cute.

  21. Diane Pollock

    Oddly cute!

  22. Shelley Munro

    They do have cute faces, don’t they?

  23. Rachel M

    :lol: These birds are amazing. I would stay as far away from them as possible since I never know how an animal will react even if they are domesticated. In San Diego CA, a killer whale just killed one of their trainers.

    As to shifters – I read a book where there was shapeshifting raccoon family. I thought that was hilarious. It makes me wonder about other shifters. I notice that Changling Press has done other shapeshifting ones that I have read about.

  24. Shelley Munro

    Rachel – yes, the killer whale incident reached the news down here. It’s sad for both the trainer and the whale.

    A raccoon shifter sounds cool and perfect for a comic element. :grin: