Red-necked ostrich

Struthio camelus camelus

Female red-necked ostrich Maisy at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Birds
Order: Struthioniformes
Family: Struthionidae

A subspecies of ostrich, red-necked ostriches can be found in open fields and savannahs, especially in the Sahel of Africa.

In the wild they have a diet of grasses, seeds, leaves and flowers.

Interesting facts!

  • The ostrich is the largest living bird. It cannot fly but its legs are strong and powerful, allowing running speeds of up to 50kph (31mph).
  • Ostriches are the only bird that has two toes on each foot. All other birds have three or four toes!
  • These formidable birds also don’t need to drink water; they get all the water they need from the plants they eat.


Hunting and habitat loss are the main conservation threats to wild ostriches. Paignton Zoo’s ostrich is part of a world-wide captive breeding cooperation that aims to help the red-necked ostrich thrive in its natural habitat.