Mating Ostriches

posted in: Courtship-Mating | 4

Willis’ recent foray into the African plains in Kenya saw him returning with a rare image of a male Ostrich (Struthio camelus) caught with his penis exposed (left). This is one of a few bird species in which the male has a penis. And this is displayed prominently only during courtship.

Willis was on a morning game drive when the guide spotted what looked like Ostriches in the distant horizon. Moving closer, they realised that a pair of Ostriches was in the midst of a mating dance. Another female was loitering nearby. By the time the party arrived nearer to the birds, the female was in a submissive posture, indicating that she was ready for copulation. The male then mounted her, fluffing his wings and swaying his puffed out brightly coloured neck (below). Copulation lasted barely a minute. And according to Folch (1992), the male grunts and groans throughout copulation.

Gill (2007) has this to say: “The fully extended, bright red penis of an ostrich may be 20 centimeters long. The mating ritual of these large flightless birds is a dramatic event: intromission and ejaculation last a full minute.”

Reference:
1.
Folch, A., 1992. Family Struthionidae (Ostrich). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 76-82.
2. Gill, F. B., 2007. Ornithology. W. H. Freeman & Co., New York. 758 pp.

This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

2+
Follow BESG:

Latest posts from

4 Responses

  1. Wow! 20 cm hah? No wonder the ostrich was red in the face exposing it to Willie!

    0
  2. […] certain birds like ostriches LINK, geese and cassowaries have a phallus that is inserted into the cloaca of the female, thus ensuring […]

    0
  3. […] balancing on the female’s back to pass on his sperms to the female. For land birds like ostriches LINK, emus and curassows, this is not a problem (above). The female can crouch on the ground and remain […]

    0
  4. Hello there,

    My name is Aly and I would like to know if you would have any interest to have your website here at besgroup.org promoted as a resource on our blog alychidesign.com ?

    We are in the midst of updating our broken link resources to include current and up to date resources for our readers. Our resource links are manually approved allowing us to mark a link as a do-follow link as well
    .
    If you may be interested please in being included as a resource on our blog, please let me know.

    Thanks,
    Aly

    0

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.