The ostrich is the largest living species of bird.  These natives of Africa are not able to fly, but can reach speeds of up to 45 miles an hour on the ground, making them the fastest of any land bird.  They also lay eggs larger than any other living bird.

Ostrich have been farmed for their feathers, skins, and more recently for meat.  In the 18th century they were hunted almost to extinction.  They can be raised in climates ranging from South America to Alaska.

"Ginger" was given permanent refuge at Black Pine with her mate, Fred (now deceased) when a local ostrich farm went out of business.

When attacking a person, ostriches kick with their powerful feet, armed with long claws, which are capable of disemboweling or killing a person with a single blow.  Many who meet Ginger are rightfully intimated by her size and 'pecking', however she is not typically aggressive having been raised around people who have never posed a threat to her.  Even so, she is annoying!  These birds have very small brains and will 'taste test' almost anything, including buttons, earrings, cameras, sunglasses and other objects within close proximity.

A captive diet of grains, seeds, and grasses helps Ginger maintain her beautiful plumage.

InfoBox - Ostrich

Status:  Least concern.

Diet in wild:  Plants.

Life span in wild:  up to 75 years.

Weight:  300 to 400 pounds.

Native habitat:  Africa.