Greater Rheas (Rhea Americana, Nandu) are the ostriches that can be found in the eastern and south – eastern parts of South America. They are smaller than the African ostriches and have three-toed feet. The name nandu was given by the Indians due to the sound made by the male during the mating period.
The plumage color of males and females is almost the same. The only differences consist in the fact that the female is smaller and its colors are a little bit lighter. Their wings have long and soft feathers that play an attraction role during the mating period. The fact that there is a slight distance between the feather and body facilitates their running.
They can reach a height of 0,9 – 1,5 cm and weigh between 15-30 kg.
The Greater Rhea can run very fast. It has the ability to tire out and puzzle the best predator due to its skill to slip through the most complicated situations.
They feed on leaves, seeds, insects and small animals. Famers value the nandu ostriches because they clean the surroundings of snakes, locusts, scorpions and spiders.
They make their nests in the height grass from savannahs. The male has from 5 to 7 females that lay their eggs in the same nest. The hatching period lasts 36-44 days. The chicks hatch in early February and their body is covered with fluffs with dark colored longitudinal stripes.