Scientific classification - Rhea americana
Nandu is a species native to South America. There are various subspecies, among which the Rhea americana (more widespread species), which lives in the Argentine Pampas, in the south of Brazil and Uruguay, and the Pterochemia pennata, which populates the highlands of Chile, Bolivia and Peru.
It owes its name to the cry of the male in the mating season. Polygamous species., Very long-lived (about 15 years). Quiet in character, it adapts well to life in captivity and can easily coexist with other species of poultry. It needs large spaces.
It has no sexual dimorphism.
Grayish brown plumage, lighter on wings and back. Brownish head and neck. Thighs and belly are yellowish brown. Pearl gray eye. Flat gray smoke beak. Dark flesh-colored legs. The feet are sturdy and formed by three toes and sturdy nails that are used by the animal to sift the ground in search of food.
Height up to 1.5 m; average weight 40-45 kg.
Feeding and reproduction
In nature it feeds on insects, herbs and seeds. In captivity it is fed with feed with calcium supplementation especially for young specimens. During the mating season the groups are made up of one male and some females (3 to 7), defending them from the other males. The courtship is very spectacular. The male builds the nest on the ground by filling it with herbs and twigs: the females lay ten to fifteen eggs each (with a white shell and weighing about 600 grams). The male also provides brooding (which lasts about 40-50 days) and the care of the young. Growth is rapid (higher in males).
Nandù - Rhea americana (Www.birdingpal.org)