Thursday, February 18, 2010


I've had questions on and off the blog about what rheas are since last week. Rheas are ratites (large flightless birds) from South America. I think they look like a cross between an ostrich and a swan, but I'm going to post some pictures and let you form your own opinions.

*Update: I found this National Geographic video on YouTube, and it's much better than the photos I originally posted.

Rheas actually feature prominently in my half-written novel from last November's NaNoWriMo, especially the little ones. They're cute, aren't they?

Female rheas are shy, gentle birds. The males build the nests, sit on the eggs, and take care of the young. They will also take a piece out of anyone or anything that messes with their young family, and they move like a snake when they bite. First, they puff out their feathers and charge to scare the offender off. If that doesn't work, they fight.

They come in gray or white. The white rheas have blue eyes that look surprisingly human. I'm not crazy about this picture, but it's the only one I could find of a white adult.

I hope this helps.


  1. We have ostriches next door and I've seen emu, but I haven't seen any of these before. They're lovely :o) Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow...I've never heard of a rhea. They're pretty!

  3. They're smarter than emus and less territorial. We raised emus too, and stapling emus back together after they shredded each other is not one of my happier memories.

    And you're all welcome. Can you see the baby rhea picture or do I need to replace it with another one?

  4. So are the animals by your parent's place emus or rheas? My kids love to go and look at them, whatever they are. :)
    I couldn't see the picture of the baby rhea. I saw the grown one and the white one.

  5. This does help! What neat creatures.

  6. Rorie, my dad has emus, and I replaced the baby rhea picture with a National Geographic video about the males raising their babies.