Category Archives: ostriches

Ostrich Boom

Photos by DAVE McKELVIE:

It is said that Nairobi National Park  contains the world’s densest population of wild ostrich.

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Certainly this classic savannah park is primo ostrich habitat!

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This year, dry conditions during the nesting period (July,August,September)ensured excellent survival rates for young ostrich.

Despite high mortality amongst young chicks (all predatory birds & mammals enjoy them if they can evade the parents) we have several large broods of half grown chicks in the park:keeping that density statistic up to scratch!!

A Sad Story with a Happy Ending….

Nairobi National Park is ostrich country; it boasts the densest population of wild Masai Ostrich anywhere…..

I recently came across the dead bodies of these 2 young ostrich chicks, newly hatched.

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A sad sight, although one knows mortality amongst young ostrich chicks are very high.

Hatching clutches of eggs seems to have been delayed this year & although dry it is perhaps a good thing that violent & cold thunderstorms are not wreaking havoc on the many new ostrich chicks in NNP

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Further along the track I came across (perhaps) the rest of the family…..no less than 32 chicks, with 2 hens & a cock…..

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A hen in a typical courting, or in this case, protecting posture, with wings hanging limply

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Some of the 32 survivors & let’s hope many will survive to adulthood to have many chicks of their own!

First Ostrich Chicks……

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July/August is the breeding season for ostriches in Nairobi National Park & we were thrilled to see this brand new family of ostriches in the Langata Forest this morning.

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Straight out of the egg?

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Eleven in this clutch: WELL DONE these ostrich parents!! This IS the future!

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Bundles of feathers make a great meal for predators: raptors, pythons, carnivores, mongooses etc. Ostich chicks this size have a very high mortality…..

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But first the eaters-of-chicks have to get past the proud parents. As we took these pictures (well done Ned Knocker aged 10…) pied crows were buzzing the chicks & being warned off by the furiously hissing parents.

Good luck to this brood &  may they survive to increase the population of the densest ostrich colony in Africa!