Wingless birds

Common Nandu

Become a donor

Make a donation

Common Nandu (Rhea americana)

The common Nandu is a big bird of the Nandu family. The common Nandu is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. It inhabits open spaces with tall grass vegetation and rare shrubs, marshy and desert landscapes. It is found in the mountains up to 2000 m above sea level. During the breeding season (spring and summer) it prefers habitats near water. It does not fly, but when running it reaches speed of up to 60 km/h. It usually lives in groups of 5 to 30 birds.

The length of adult birds is 127-140 cm and the weight reaches 20-25 kg and more. The males are larger than females. In appearance, the common Nandu resembles the ostrich, but is twice smaller and has plumage on the head and neck. Its feet have 3 digits each, while the ostriches have two.

The wings are long - the bird uses them for balance while running. The plumage is in brown-gray tones with varying intensity. In general, males are darker than females. Among the birds there are also albinos - with white plumage and blue eyes. There are no rudder feathers. The young Nandu is grey, with dark longitudinal stripes. At the beginning of the reproductive period, the adult male makes deep and loud sounds - "nan-doo", from which the bird got its name.

Nandu eats leaves, rhizomes, seeds, fruit and insects - grasshoppers, crickets, bedbugs, beetles and cockroaches. They sometimes hunt small vertebrates - rodents, snakes and lizards.