Birds of the Bible – The Common Ostrich


Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Dan and I just recently were on vacation and stopped by the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, SC. I have see Ostriches before, but it has been awhile. We see the Emus at Zoo Tampa often, but they are not nearly as tall as the Ostrich. I had forgotten that the Lord had created such a huge bird.

The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, But are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s? For she leaves her eggs on the ground, And warms them in the dust; She forgets that a foot may crush them, Or that a wild beast may break them. She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers; Her labor is in vain, without concern, Because God deprived her of wisdom, And did not endow her with understanding. When she lifts herself on high, She scorns the horse and its rider. (Job 39:13-18 NKJV)

The Ostrich does belong to the Struthionidae Family. Currently there are two; the Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) and the Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes). The one we saw was the Common. The Ostrich is the largest bird in the world! They are omnivorous flightless birds but make up for their inability to fly with the powerful legs they possess. These birds were built for speed. That is why the reference to the horse and rider. Ostriches can give a horse competition for at least a burst of speed.

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot back at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

“Ostriches usually weigh from 140–320 lb (63 to 145 kilograms), Ostriches of the East African race (S. c. massaicus) averaged 250 lb (115 kg) in males and 220 lb (100 kg) in females, while the nominate subspecies was found to average 240 lb (111 kg) in unsexed adults. At sexual maturity (two to four years), male ostriches can be from 6 ft 11 in to 9 ft 2 in (2.1 to 2.8 m) in height, while female ostriches range from 5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 7 in (1.7 to 2 m) tall. New chicks are fawn with dark brown spots. During the first year of life, chicks grow about 10 in (25 cm) per month. At one year of age, ostriches weigh around 100 lb (45 kilograms). Their lifespan is up to 40 or 45 years.” (Wikipedia with editing)

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot front at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

I am not sure how tall these were, but they had to be close to 8 feet. As I was observing them, I was trying to remember all that the verses said about them. That is one reason I took pictures of their feet. I knew that their feet and legs helped  them run, but also that those same feet were a danger to their young ones. They do have big feet and with an interesting shape as you can see from the photos.

If you notice the size of their head to their body, maybe that is how the Lord “did not endow her with understanding.” The head is interesting though because they are one of the few birds that have eyelashes. They have acute eyesight and hearing, the long neck and legs keep their head up to 9 ft (2.8 m) above the ground, and their eyes are said to be the largest of any land vertebrate – 2.0 in (50 mm) in diameter; they can therefore perceive predators at a great distance. The eyes are shaded from sun light falling from above. However, the head and bill are relatively small for the birds’ huge size”

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Head at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Head at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. (Psalms 96:1-4 NKJV)


Birds of the Bible – Ostrich

Bible Birds – Ostrich

Struthionidae – Ostriches

Ostrich – Creation Wiki

Ostrich – Wikipedia

Ostrich – The Largest Bird with the Biggest Eyes