6 Birds That Look Like Ostriches: The Comprehensive Bird Guide

Birds are some of the fascinating creatures on Earth, and their diverse shapes and sizes make them an endless source of wonder. One particular bird that stands out is the ostrich, with its towering height and striking appearance.

But did you know other birds that look like ostriches? These birds may not be as big as ostriches but share similar physical features.

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What Are Ostriches?

Ostriches are fascinating creatures that have captured the imagination of people around the world. These large flightless birds can grow up to 9 feet tall and weigh over 300 pounds, making them one of the largest birds on Earth. Ostriches are known for their long necks, powerful legs, and distinctive feathers.

Ostriches are native to Africa and are found in various habitats, such as savannas and deserts. They are also farmed for their meat, eggs, and feathers. Despite being flightless, ostriches can run up to 45 miles per hour, making them one of the fastest land animals.

Ostriches have several unique adaptations that allow them to survive in harsh environments. For example, they have excellent eyesight that allows them to spot predators from far away.

Common Ostrich – StruthioCamelus:

Birds That Look Like Ostriches

The Common Ostrich, scientifically known as Struthiocamelus, is one of the planet’s most fascinating and remarkable birds. This magnificent bird is the largest living bird species and can grow up to 9 feet tall! Not only that, but they can also weigh up to a whopping 320 pounds!

The ostrich’s feathers are soft and downy, making them highly sought after for fashion industry use. So, what makes this bird truly unique is its ability to run at incredible speeds of up to 43 miles per hour! Their long legs make it easy for them to cover great distances in a short amount of time.

Accordingly to their impressive physical characteristics, ostriches have a unique reproductive system. Unlike most birds with two ovaries, female ostriches have only one ovary, producing eggs roughly the size of a grapefruit.

Somali Ostrich – StruthioMolybdophanes:

Birds That Look Like Ostriches

The Somali ostrich, scientifically known as Struthiomolybdophanes, is a magnificent bird species native to Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. This fascinating creature is one of the two subspecies of ostriches found in Africa, with the other being the common ostrich. The Somali ostrich is distinguished by its blue-grey neck and thighs, white feathers on its wings and tail, and long eyelashes.

One of the most striking features of these birds is their size. They are the largest living bird species in the world and can reach up to 9 feet tall! Their massive size makes them an impressive sight and allows them to outrun predators at speeds up to 43 miles per hour. Despite their speed and strength, these birds are herbivores that primarily feed on plants such as fruits, seeds, and leaves.

Birds That Look Like Ostriches:

Birds resembling ostriches are fascinating creatures with distinctive physical features resembling their larger cousin. These birds, also known as ratites, belong to the family Struthionidae and are found in various parts of the world. Although they might not be as large as ostriches, they share several characteristics, such as flat breastbones without keels and small wings incapable of flight.

Emu – DromaiusNovaehollandiae:

Birds That Look Like Ostriches

Emu, scientifically known as DromaiusNovaehollandiae, is the second-largest bird in the world and an iconic symbol of Australian wildlife. This flightless bird can grow up to 6 feet tall and weigh over 100 pounds. Emus have a unique appearance with long necks, sharp beaks, and shaggy feathers ranging from brown to gray. They are also incredibly fast runners and can reach up to 30 miles per hour.

Emus are native to Australia and are found across most of the country’s mainland. They prefer open grasslands, savannas, and woodlands, where they forage for seeds, insects, fruits, and small animals. Emus mate for life during the breeding season between April and June each year. The female lays several large green eggs that the male incubates for about two months until they hatch.

What Is the Difference Between an Emu and an Ostrich?

Emus and ostriches are two of the biggest birds on the planet, but they have many differences that set them apart.

• One of the most obvious differences between these birds is their physical appearance. Emus are smaller than ostriches and have distinct brown feathers, while ostriches are larger with black or white feathers.
• Another major difference between emus and ostriches can be found in their habitat. While both birds thrive in hot climates, emus prefer to live in open forests and savannas, while ostriches inhabit more arid regions like deserts or grasslands. The diets of these two birds also differ – emus feed on various plants, insects, and small animals, while ostriches mainly eat vegetation.


Rheas are flightless birds native to South America. These large and impressive creatures, including ostriches, emus, and kiwis, belong to the ratite family. There are two species of rheas: the greater rhea and the lesser rhea.

Greater rheas can stand up to five feet tall and weigh up to 88 pounds, while lesser rheas are smaller at around four feet tall and weigh up to 66 pounds. Rheas have long necks, sharp beaks, powerful legs, and a distinctive plumage that is brown or greyish-brown in color. They also have strong wings but cannot fly as their wings do not produce enough lift.

Greater Rhea – Rhea Americana:

Birds That Look Like Ostriches

The Greater Rhea, also known as Rhea Americana, is a magnificent bird species native to South America. These massive, flightless birds can grow up to 5 feet tall and weigh over 80 pounds. They are related to ostriches and emus but have distinct characteristics that make them unique.

Greater Rheas are primarily found in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay. They inhabit open grasslands and savannas and graze on vegetation such as grasses and flowers. These birds are social creatures that live in groups called flocks, consisting of up to 100 individuals.

The adults weigh 20–27 kg (44–60 lb.) and often measure 127 to 140 cm (50 to 55 in) long from beak to tail. They usually stand about 1.5 m (4 ft. 11 in) tall, with a typical range of 1.4 to 1.7 m (4 ft. 7 to 5 ft. 7 in).

Although the Greater Rhea is not currently threatened with extinction, their populations have declined due to habitat loss and hunting for their meat and feathers. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these beautiful birds and ensure their survival for future generations.

Darwin’s Rhea – Rhea pennata:

Birds That Look Like Ostriches

The Darwin’s Rhea, also known as Rhea Pennata, is a large and flightless bird species native to South America. The lesser rhea stands 90 to 100 cm (35–39 in) tall. It is 92 to 100 cm (36–39 in) in length and weighs 15 to 28.6 kg (33–63 lb.). It is found in the Altiplano and Patagonia in South America. They have distinctive grey-brown plumage with white feather tips on their wings.

These birds are named after the famous naturalist Charles Darwin, who first observed them during his travels in South America. He was so fascinated by these creatures that he wrote extensively about them in his journals. One of the fascinating aspects of Darwin’s Rhea is their unique reproductive strategy – males incubate eggs laid by multiple females in communal nests and care for the offspring.

Unfortunately, the population of Darwin’s Rhea has declined significantly over the years due to habitat loss and hunting.

Puna Rhea – Rhea Tarapacensis:

Birds That Look Like Ostriches

Puna Rhea, also known as Rhea Paraparesis, is a flightless bird found in the high-altitude regions of South America. This species belongs to the family Rheidae and is closely related to ostriches and emus. Its long legs, neck, and head have a distinct appearance. It weighs around 20-25 kg and can grow up to 1.3 meters tall.

It is primarily herbivorous and feeds on grasses, herbs, fruits, seeds, and insects. They live in social groups consisting of males and females during the breeding season but separate during non-breeding periods. Females lay eggs in communal nests guarded by males until they hatch.

What Is the Difference Between a Rhea and an Ostrich?

Rheas and ostriches are two of the largest flightless birds. They belong to the same avian family, Ratites, including emus and kiwis. However, they have some key physical differences that set them apart.

• Size is one of the main distinguishing factors between rheas and ostriches. While both birds are large and weigh 100 kg or more, ostriches are generally taller than rheas. An adult male ostrich can grow up to eight feet tall, while male rheas only reach around five feet.
• Another significant difference between these two birds is their habitat. Ostriches live exclusively in Africa, while rheas inhabit South America.
• The ostrich feathers are considered valuable for decorative purposes, whereas rhea feathers are not used as extensively.


Cassowary is a large, flightless bird native to Papua New Guinea and northeastern Australia. It belongs to the ratite family, which includes other flightless birds such as ostriches and emus. Cassowaries are known for their striking appearance: bright blue head and neck, red or orange wattle, and powerful legs with sharp claws.

Cassowaries are shy creatures that prefer to live in dense forests away from human populations. However, when threatened, they can be incredibly dangerous due to their size and strength. They can run up to 30 miles per hour and have been known to charge at people and animals who invade their territory.

Cassowaries live in dense forests and feed mostly on fruit. Females are larger and have more vibrant coloration than males. Adult southern cassowaries are 1.5 to 1.8 m (5 to 6 ft.) tall, although some females may reach 2 m (6.6 ft.) and weigh 58.5 kg (130 lb.).

Despite being classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, cassowaries face many threats, including habitat loss due to deforestation, hunting for their meat and feathers, and collisions with vehicles on roads near their habitats.

What Is the Difference Between a Cassowary and an Ostrich?

Cassowaries and ostriches are among the largest birds in the world. They both belong to the ratite bird family, meaning they cannot fly due to their flat breastbones. However, there are many differences between these two interesting species.

The cassowary is native to Australia and New Guinea, while ostriches are found in Africa. The former has a distinctive appearance with its large wattles and bony casque on top of its head. On the other hand, ostriches have long necks and legs with soft feathers covering much of their bodies.

Another major difference between these two birds is their size. While both are large, cassowaries tend to be smaller than ostriches. Adult cassowaries weigh up to 130 pounds, while adult ostriches weigh over 300 pounds!


Kiwis are a small but mighty fruit that packs an impressive punch of nutrition. These fuzzy little orbs are native to New Zealand and have been enjoyed for centuries by indigenous Maori tribes. Today, kiwis can be found in grocery stores and markets worldwide.

One medium-sized kiwi contains more vitamin C than an orange, fibre, potassium, and antioxidants. They also contain actinidin, an enzyme that helps digestion and may reduce inflammation. Kiwis are low in calories and sugar, making them a great option for those watching their weight or blood sugar levels.

Final Thoughts about Birds That Look Like Ostriches:

Ostriches are amazing creatures with fascinating features; luckily, we don’t have to go to Africa to see them. A few other bird species have similar physical characteristics and behaviours. From the rhea of South America to the cassowary of Australia and New Guinea, these birds provide a unique opportunity to observe how evolution has adjusted their form and behaviour in different parts of the world.