Photos by DAVE McKELVIE:
It is said that Nairobi National Park contains the world’s densest population of wild ostrich.
Certainly this classic savannah park is primo ostrich habitat!
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!!
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.
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
Further along the track I came across (perhaps) the rest of the family…..no less than 32 chicks, with 2 hens & a cock…..
A hen in a typical courting, or in this case, protecting posture, with wings hanging limply
Some of the 32 survivors & let’s hope many will survive to adulthood to have many chicks of their own!
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.
Straight out of the egg?
Eleven in this clutch: WELL DONE these ostrich parents!! This IS the future!
Bundles of feathers make a great meal for predators: raptors, pythons, carnivores, mongooses etc. Ostich chicks this size have a very high mortality…..
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!