Flightless Birds



2 records

The Flightless birds are birds which lack the ability to fly, relying instead on their ability to run or swim. They are thought to have evolved from flying ancestors. There are about forty species in existence today. The best known being the Ostrich, Emu, Cassowary, Rhea, Kiwi, and Penguin.

New Zealand has more species of flightless birds; including the Kiwis, several species of Penguins, and the Takahe; than any other country.

The smallest flightless bird is the Inaccessible Island Rail [length 12.5 cm] and The largest flightless bird, which is also the largest living bird, is the Ostrich [9 ft], although some extinct species grew to larger sizes.

Flightless birds are the easiest to take care of in captivity because they do not have to be caged. Ostriches were once farmed for their decorative feathers. Today they are raised for meat and for their skins, which are used to make leather.


Ostriches, Emus

Total Records: 2

Emu's are the second largest birds in the world and the largest birds native to Australia. Ostrich is the largest bird in the world by height and a native of Africa. The emu have deep brown feathers and generally is very difficult to distinguish between the male and female of the species. However, during the mating season the emu hens grow black feathers on the head and the bare skin on the head turns blue. The male and female ostriches on the other hand have different colored feathers. The male ostriches have black feathers with white on the wings and tails while the females have grey brown feathers. The Emu has very strong legs with three toes which allow it to run at speed of upto 30 mph. The feet are said to be strong enough to kill a human. The Ostrich has extremely strong legs with two toes that are designed in a manner to enable it to run at speeds of upto 40 mph. The ostrich also have exceptionally large eyes in relation to their heads. In fact they are said to have the largest eyes among the land vertebrates.


Total Records: 1

Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage, and their wings have evolved into flippers. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid, and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. They spend about half of their lives on land and half in the oceans.