Ostrich chicks: all feathers and legs

In November while cycling at Cape Point I encountered a large family of ostrich and posted pictures of the cute little chicks.  It’s some months later and now the chicks have grown into handsome birds.  Notice how their feathers are darkening, a couple more months and they’ll be fully grown.

Ostrich chicks_01

Except for the little “Laat Lammetjie”  (a term used generally with affection for a late birth out of season) – a chick which is much smaller than the rest of the flock yet appears to be quite a feisty little character.The littlest ostrich chick Ostrich chick_02

26 thoughts on “Ostrich chicks: all feathers and legs

    1. Thanks, Aussiebirder. They’re a wonderful species to observe in the birdworld! We share the link with the Gondwanaland split right? Emus, rheas, cassowaries, and those long-gone tasty moas….

  1. In your first photo of the group of chicks, it is amazing how good their camouflage is. I had to squint to see the details of the bodies against the background. Definitely living dinosaur descendants. 🙂

    1. Crafty little creatures with their camouflage trick, melding into the landscape. True, there’s a link back to the dinosaurs….
      “The soft tissue was discovered in a thigh bone from the dinosaur discovered in the US state of Montana. The scientists said an examination with an electron microscope showed the dinosaur blood vessels to be “virtually indistinguishable” from those recovered from ostrich bones.” – Dr Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University.

    1. Yes, wild they are! I’m fortunate here to have a such treasures and a wild place close to my doorstep. It’s extraordinary to think that this is an everyday kind of an event. Walking on a beach to find baboons foraging in the rockpools, or bontebok browsing, ostrich chicks showing off their plumes….. feel so richly nurtured by nature 🙂 I do try to keep my distance though, and not intrude into the animals space …. helped by a good telephoto lens 🙂

  2. As much as I love to take photographs of baby ostriches while out walking, my excitement is always tempered by the fear of a protective adult attacking – you must be super fast on that bicycle of yours, Liz! 😉

    1. You’re right about those protective adults, and the females appear to be more on edge than the males. Admit to having a couple of adrenalin-rush scares, am extremely cautious now and retreat in the opposite direction. Fortunately in my bag of tricks i have a beaut of a lens, the new telephoto Nikon 80-400mm VRII which is light enough to carry in a backpack and use without a tripod. Can keep a reasonable enough distance and get a good shot.

    1. A bevy of beauties?! Now that you mention gender Rajiv, it will be interesting to see when their feather colours develop per their sexual identity. As in the bird kingdom the females remain drab and the males will develop “night attire” black.

      1. The males take on a sauve all black ‘attire’ ! The females are a drab mousy brown to blend wirh their background while sitting on the nest during the day while the males blend with the night to protect the sitting females. Those duties aside, their contrasting colours – the black and white under feathers are at their eye-catching best during mating rituals. This is a show to see! The male dances for the female with such graceful choreography extending wing and tail feathers in sweeping elegance. Impressive visuals.

      2. This would indeed be a fantastic sight. Will you get the chance to shoot them during their rituals, or is this something that is generally not allowed?

      3. Have been lurking about now for a couple of years trying document “The Dance”. Managed some distant shots, but really need to used video to capture the play. Hopefully one of these days ….

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