Overview of Arabian Ostrich
The Arabian ostrich, also known as the Red-Necked Ostrich or Arabian Bustard, is a species of large flightless bird native to the Middle East and some Northern African countries. It is the smallest of the two species of ostrich and is typically slightly darker in colour, with a red neck patch and an overall greyish-brown coat. The Arabian ostrich is a migratory species and spends most of its time on the coasts of the Arabian Gulf as well as in North Africa. It is found in a variety of habitats such as semi-arid desert, steppe grassland and savannah.
Natural Habitat of Arabian Ostrich
The Arabian ostrich favours semi-arid to arid climates, inhabiting the desert, semi-desert and savannah regions of North Africa, the Middle East and Saudi Arabia. They inhabit a variety of habitats, including dry sandy and rocky plains and lowland scrub, and often feed on the nutritious seeds and leaves of native plants. The Arabian ostrich’s impressive size makes it able to traverse long distances quickly, which is why this species is usually observed as an arboreal species.
Diet of Arabian Ostrich
The Arabian ostrich is largely seed-eating, but it also consumes a variety of green leafy plants, forbs and grasses. Its long neck and feet enable it to forage in shallow lakes and mudflats for aquatic insects, snails and other small crustaceans. The Arabian ostrich is also known to consume camel bones, as well as carrion. Occasionally, it has been observed to feed on vegetable matter, such as cucumbers and melons.
Behaviour of Arabian Ostrich
The Arabian ostrich is a social bird and usually found in large flocks. They are wary of humans and usually flee when approached, although some may freeze to escape detection. During the mating season, males may clash their bills together in what is known as bill-to-bill combat, which can be a display of dominance or used to attract potential mates.
Can You Pet an Arabian Ostrich?
Although wild Arabian ostriches are very wary of both humans and other animals and generally try to flee when they sense danger, the birds bred in captivity are more likely to bond with humans, if they have been socialized properly. When ostrich chicks are hatched in captivity, they are very inquisitive and need to be introduced to humans in a safe and gentle manner. If this is done correctly and consistently, they can become gentle, domesticated birds that can be petted with no harms. It is important to note, however, that this process must be taken seriously and done correctly in order for the ostrich to bond correctly with the person.
Also, when considering how to pet an Arabian ostrich, the pet should not be forced. Petting an Arabian ostrich must be done in a manner that is not aversive for the bird, by allowing the bird to come closer and give it occasional scratches on the head and neck. In addition, the person should approach in a calm and non-threatening manner and should never be aggressive or attempt to chase the bird away.
Overall, the Arabian ostrich can be petted, however the petting process must be taken seriously and done correctly in order to ensure the safety of the bird as well as the petting person. It is important to always remain respectful and gentle around these animals, and not attempt to attract them with food, noise, or aggressive behaviour. With the right approach and dedication, any person can gain the trust of an Arabian ostrich and ultimately become friends.
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