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Ostriches of Kidepo valley national park

Ostriches of Kidepo valley national park: The ostrich is the largest bird in world, the only living member of the genus Shruthi bird only found in Africa

Ostriches of Kidepo valley national park

Ostriches of Kidepo valley national park: The ostrich is the largest bird in the whole world only found in Africa. It’s a large flightless bird meaning they can’t fly and the only living member of the genus Shruthi bird. These birds are the largest living birds in the whole world and on top of that they lay the largest eggs more than any living land animal. In Uganda, tourists can find the highest population of ostriches in Kidepo valley national park and a few at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe.

Ostriches are the largest birds in the whole world for they weigh about 180 kgs when mature. It’s because of their weight that they don’t fly even though they have wings. Ostriches are the fastest running birds in the world and they also run faster than any two-legged animal. Ostriches are said to be running for more than 70km per hour and they cover up to 5m in a single stride.

Ostriches have wings that expand up to 2 meters. The wings have a lot of uses and among these include changing directions when running, conserving heat, and covering naked skin of upper legs.

Female ostriches are good dancers and they dance to attract the female ones when it’s time for mating. Female ostriches become sexually mature at the age of 4 to 5 years and the males ones reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 years. Ostriches lay eggs like any other bird but they eggs are larger than those of any bird in the world.

Ostriches lay between 15 and 20 eggs in a hole dug by males and they hatch after 35 to 45 days. When it’s time for incubation, the dominant female sits on the eggs during the day and the male ones sit on the eggs during the night. When hatching is done, chicks feed on yolk inside their body for 6 days before the male ostrich teaches the chicks how to eat. When the chicks get mature, they do join other from other groups.

Mature ostriches grow up to 180kgs and can grow up to 2.5 meters tall. The males have brown eyes, white feathers, and pink necks while the female ostriches have brown and pink legs. By taking a safari to Kidepo valley national park, you will be able to see ostriches and learn different things about them from the well-trained guides.

What do ostriches feed o n?

Ostriches of Kidepo valley national park are omnivores which means that they have ability to eat and survive on both animal and plant matter. The ostriches in Kidepo valley national park fees on seeds, flowers, fruits, locusts, lizards, snakes, roots, and leaves among others. Ostriches will always feed on whatever is available for them at that time of the year.

Best ways of seeing ostriches in Kidepo valley national park

Tourists can see ostriches in Kidepo valley national park by taking part in different activities. Game drives, bird watching and nature walk activities around the park will give tourists an opportunity to see ostriches walk or run in the park. Ostriches live all over the park and there are always high chances of seeing them while on a safari in the park. The rangers within the park are always aware of the areas where these ostriches be therefore tourists who want to see them will always spot them.

The best areas to see birds in Kidepo valley national park include Narus valley, Apoka, Kidepo valley, Kanangorok hot springs, lomej hills, lonyiri mountain, and Mount Morungole. These areas have plenty of vegetation cover that acts as a home to the birds as well as a source of food. A good bird watching guide together with an armed ranger guide take you around the different areas of the park to spot a variety of bird species.

Other birds of Kidepo valley national park

Apart from the ostriches, Kidepo valley national park hosts more than 460 bird species in its vegetation around the park. These birds can be seen during bird watching activities in different areas of the park with a good birding guide. The list of birds in Kidepo valley national park does include Karamoja apalis, superb starling, Egyptian vulture, brown back woodpecker, mosque swallow, kori bustard, red-winged lark, secretary bird, vinaceous dove, jackson’s hornbill, rufous chatter, little bee-eater, fan-tailed raven, white billed buffalo weaver, pygmy falcon, Karamoja apalis, black-breasted barbet,  fox kestrel, eastern pale chanting goshawk, African swallow-tailed kite, Abyssinian ground hornbill, speckle fronted weaver, brown rumped bunting, white faced scoops owl, mouse colored penduline tit, yellow necked spur fowl, black coucals, African moustached warbler, little weavers, scarlet chested sunbird, Nubian woodpeckers, ruppell’s super starlings, and mosque swallow to mention but a few.

When is the best time to see the ostriches of Kidepo valley national park?

Tourists can see ostriches of Kidepo valley national park at any time of the year however there are times better than others. The dry season when the park is experiencing good weather is the best time to see the ostriches of Kidepo. This is because there is less rainfall to disrupt the activity and the game tracks are dry and easily passable allowing tourists access most of the park areas.

Tourists can still visit Kidepo valley national park to see ostriches during the rainy season which happens from March to May and October to November. Yes, they will be able to see ostriches but the weather is not so good as there is a lot of rainfall and little sunshine within the park. The time of the year you will visit the park doesn’t matter, you will be able to see the ostriches and other wildlife of the park.

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