Does the Ostrich Have a Voice?

Any way you look at it, the ostrich is a strange and remarkable bird. It is the largest of living birds but it cannot fly. Its small wings are used for balance when it is running at high speeds.

The head and neck of the ostrich are nearly bare of feathers. Its legs are long, with only two toes each. The plumage of the male (cock) is dark brown or black, with white tail and wing plumes. The female (hen) is much duller-coloured and smaller.

As you might imagine, a bird like this does not have a “singing” voice but it does have a voice! Most of the year, ostriches make only a loud hissing noise.

But the during the mating season, the males make a loud, deep booming roar that can be heard from quite a distance away. There or four hens lay their eggs in one shallow hole scooped in the sand.

The hens take turns sitting on the eggs to keep them warm. The male takes his turn at night. These are the largest eggs laid by any birds. The ostrich is a greedy eater. Its food an ostrich will sometimes swallow large stones, bits of iron and other objects!

Ostriches are raisesd commercially for their beautifull plumes. The cropping of the plumes does not harm the birds. The first cropping may be done before the bird is a year old. Each time it is done, the plumes will grow again.

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