Bird Big

This week Tina Schell of the esteemed Lens-Artist quartet informs us that:

Back on Lens-Artists Challenge #11, Amy was focused on “Small is Beautiful”. This week I’d like to submit that Big can be Beautiful too! I look forward to seeing your Big Shots (pun intended) this week.

To view Tina’s non puny and beautiful big shots click here

Glowing ostriches

Ostriches are peculiar animals with a few records to their tally, heaviest and tallest birds and fastest land birds among others. I do not have an exhaustive list of their land bird competitors, but yes they are indeed faster than penguins… Ostrich hens also lay the biggest eggs. But everything is relative; in relation to the size of the producer thereof, the eggs are actually the smallest eggs. Fortunately the roosters do not crow, for if a chicken rooster’s cock-a-doodle-doo was amplified by the size of an ostrich the farming community Volmoed, Oudtshoorn, South Africa (where these photos were taken) would probably have burst eardrums in common. in fact adult ostriches have no vocal cords – not canaries.

⇓The Volmoed church – see not even in the ostrich centre of the universe an ostrich rooster sits on the church tower… But ostriches do influence events at churches indirectly. The big feathers of an ostrich is cut into small pieces and used as confetti at weddings.

Church on misty morning

A rooster (male ostrich) varies in size from 2.1 to 2.8 meters and weighs 120 kg. It can run up to 70 km an hour. On the photo underneath a thick toenail can be seen at the end of a wiry leg and claw. Speed, weight, power – you do not want to be chased by one of these roosters. Attacks by ostriches on tourists who have entered camps have led to a few deaths. When ostriches are in mating season the roosters perform amazing dances but at the same time are lethal weapons to a much greater degree than Mel Gibson. My uncle an ostrich farmer all his life has spent 2 weeks in hospital after an ostrich sliced the muscle of his leg with that toe when he was unexpectedly challenged.

An ostrich’s eye weighs about 60 grams versus 40 grams for the brain, which does not bode well for their intelligence. Pro rata to their body weight it must be the smallest brain of any animal as well. It is therefore the wiser choice to try and outwit rather than outrun or out-karate-kick an ostrich… Not that my brain is the most exemplary example of outwitting. Those individuals with a photographic memory has always impressed me. Of course the ultimate is a photographic memory and a photogenic appearance. At least my brain is photogenic – you can take good pictures of it…

Full flight

Professional out-witters like the San people (Bushmen) used the stupidity of the ostrich to their advantage. If an ostrich sees something in front of its face, it thinks it is a solid wall in front of its whole body and won’t kick. Thus the Bushmen used a thorn branch and held it in front of the ostriches heads for protection when raiding ostrich nests to gather the eggs which was used as food, but primarily water canisters. I have seen how ostriches almost crush each other against farm fences. As the wire is only the height of their bodies they continued to push forward when in a panic as they do not see the fence and therefore it does not exist. They must be dispersed by making a noise to stop the pushing.

Polly wants a cracker?

in touch with their pink feminine side

For more bite size facts about ostriches go to

Interesting description of the ostrich from the Bible. These must have been the Middle-Eastern ostrich which according to records became extinct as recently as 1966.

“The ostrich flaps her wings grandly but has no true motherly love. She lays her eggs on top of the earth, to warm them in the dust. She forgets that someone may step on them and crush them, or the wild animals destroy them. She ignores her young as though they weren’t her own and is unconcerned though they die, for God has deprived her of wisdom. But whenever she jumps up to run, she passes the swiftest horse with its rider. Job 39: 13-18

32 thoughts on “Bird Big

  1. Loved your post Abrie, even if you did turn me into a German with the extra N in my name! I have a good photo of an ostrich pair from SA that looks like a 2-headed bird. Perhaps it had double its limited intelligence 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tina I answered you earlier but it is missing in action so let me try again.

      Du bist ein wunderschönen frau.

      I was a bit schnell in typing that but have corrected it and have Americanized you again. Although Schell doesn’t sound American to me.

      Yes those double headed whiz kid ostriches are very expensive

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dankie vir hierdie waardevolle inligting, Abrie. Ek moet bieg, ek hou glad nie van volstruise nie. Veral in ñ wildtuin; hulle pas op ñ plaas, maar sowaar kan ek hulle glad nie waardeer as hulle tussen die groot vyf rondloop nie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nou voel ek weer meer ingelig, dankie Abrie. Shame vir die arme volstruis wat nie wysheid het nie….maar dan weer hy het ander voordele. Die skepping bly maar interessant.
    Ek hou nie van die idee dat hulle so kan skop nie; ek het met my kamera voor hom gestaan en fotos neem van ons kinders op sy rug daar in Oudshoorn.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lekker leesstof so saam met jou pragtige fotos Abrie. Ek het nog nooit gehoor van volstruisvere wat opgeknip word vir confetti nie en het eers gou vir google gaan vra om my te wys hoe dit lyk (ek hou nie van troues en begrafnisse nie en vermy dit gewoonlik). Daar leer ek toe ook alweer iets nuuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PH Nortje het gesê dat hy ook glad nie van troues hou nie en hulle het gesukkel om hom op sy eie troue te kry. Hy het hom voorgeneem nooit weer nie. Maar op die ou end was hy seremoniemeester by meer as 10 troues en is hulle na tientalle troues genooi omdat sy vrou blomme op troues gedoen het.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Terug pieng: Oppad – Positief

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