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More Information on Birds
Common Rhea or Nandu
Rhea americana

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The Common Rhea (also called the Nandu) is a large, flightless bird from forests of South America. This ratite is the largest bird in the Americas. The common rhea is a fast runner; when it runs, its neck is almost horizontal to the ground. Rheas congregate in flocks of about 20 to 30 birds.

Anatomy: The common rhea can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 m). The plumage is drab gray-brown in both sexes. There are no tail feathers. The legs and bill are light brown; it has three toes. The wings are large but useless. The base of the male's neck is black.

Eggs: The female rhea lays 12-30 yellow-cream eggs in a clutch. The male digs the nest (a simple scrape in the ground), incubates the eggs (for 6 weeks), and raises the chicks. Rheas are mature at 2 years of age.

Diet: Rheas eat mostly plants, fruits, seeds, and nuts, but also will also eat insects and other small animals (like lizards).

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