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Greater Rhea - South America

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(Blyth 1852) (Blyth 1852)
Rheiformes - Rheidae Rheiformes - Rheidae
Greater Rhea  - Rhea americana Greater Rhea  - Rhea americana

Greater Rhea:

UK Status: None, it is a native of South America, and is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. There is also feral population in Germany, and is found in zoos and wildlife centres worldwide.

Habitat: This bird inhabits both wet and dry grasslands and large savannas, at lower elevations. They also appear to prefer the presence of some taller growth, like shrubs and trees. There population is in a state of near threatened, and they have become scarcer in recent years.

Breeding: The males build a nest which is used collectively by several females. Females lay between five to ten eggs each, and a typical nest can contain an average of twenty six eggs, laid by as many as seven females in his harem. The eggs when first laid are greenish blue in colour, but soon fade to a creamy brown colour, finely speckled with brown dots.

Comment: This flightless bird is closely related to the Ostrich, Emu's and Cassowaries, although not quite as tall as the first two. There are five distinct sub-species of the Greater Rhea, and ranges of these subspecies merge at around the tropic of Capricorn.

(Blyth 1852)   (Blyth 1852)  
Rheiformes - Rheidae   Rheiformes - Rheidae  
Greater Rhea  - Rhea americana   Greater Rhea  - Rhea americana  

     

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