Somali ostrich

Blue necked browser ostrich from North-east Africa

Donna Brown

Until 2014 the Somali ostrich was considered a subspecies of common ostrich; mtDNA studies revealed that its the most distinct from all ostrich species.

It looks very similar to a common ostrich, but the plumage is cleaner and backer with blue-grey legs and neck. Breeding plumage is brighter blue, with the bill and legs becoming pink.

They are found in the Somali Peninsula, distributed in arid and semi-arid grassland, bush, and woodland. Less social birds with calls similar to common ostriches. They are more like a browser than a grazer while feeding.

The rapid decline for around five decades is mainly because of poaching, but habitat loss and degradation also contribute. Currently, no conservation actions are taken.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Djibouti
2021
Ethiopia
2021
Kenya
2021
Somalia
2021

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No