Education & Conservation

Home   > Education & Conservation   > About Blue-necked Ostrich (Click-Readmore)

About Blue-necked Ostrich (Click-Readmore)

Blue-necked Ostrich

Scientific Name: Struthio camelus molybdophanes
Higher classification: Ostriches
Order: Struthionidae
Phylum: Chordata
Rank: Species
Class: Aves


Though generally similar to other ostriches, the skin of the neck and thighs of the Blue-necked ostrich is blue (rather than pinkish), becoming bright blue on the male during the mating season. The neck lacks a typical broad white ring, and the tail feathers are white. The females are slightly larger than the males and browner in plumage than other female ostriches.

Distribution and habitat

The Blue-necked ostrich is mostly found in Horn of Africa, especially in north-eastern Ethiopia and across all of Somalia.

Behaviour and ecology

The Blue-necked ostrich is differentiated ecologically from the common ostrich, with which there is some range overlap, by preferring bushier, more thickly vegetated areas, where it feeds largely by browsing, whereas the latter is mainly a grazer on open savanna.


The Blue-necked Ostrich mates in July. The males usually meet with about four females. The males are also responsible for building the nest, into which the female lays a single egg. Female ostriches can lay up to seven eggs in a two-week span. The eggs are quite large, weighing about three pounds each. Ostriches move in a sort of harem, with several females to each male. The dominant female incubates the eggs during the day and the male sits on them at night. Breeding is done regularly in captivity, though hatching and raising chicks may prove difficult. In captivity the breeding season usually occurs during warm months with longer days.