Inhabits South America’s plains and forested grasslands, preferring the ones in direct neighborhood of rivers. Outside the breeding season it lives in herds, that can count up to over 30 birds. The male builds a nest and fights for females, which lay eggs in groups (up to 80 in a nest!). The eggs are then incubated for 35 to 40 days and then looked after by the male. Rhea’s diet consists of leaves, roots, seeds and fruits. Small animals are a suppplement to the diet. Additionaly it swallows small rocks (gastroliths), that help in the digesting process.
Common Rheas are very nimble runners, able to make sharp turns and quick dodges while escaping. They can reach the speeds of up to 60 km/h. They are also very good swimmers.
Did you know? – Common Rhea is the biggest bird of South America. It can be up to 140 cm tall and weigh up to 25 kg. The local name “nandu” comes from the distinctive, deep voice that resembles a roar.
- Latin name: Rhea americana
- IUCN – Red List – NT – Near threatened
- CITES – Appendix II
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