Saturday, August 16, 2008

A trip to the ostrich farm

By Lee Ann Setzer

Visited an ostrich farm in Tehachapi, California recently—ostriches, because they figure prominently in my next book; Tehachapi, because my mom lives there. My kids and met Ralph, Susan, Rita, and Connie the ostriches. For some reason, my attempts to work ostriches into casual conversation mostly fall flat. But I know you’ll be excited to learn these tidbits about ostriches:

Ostrich dung does not stink.

When threatened by a predator, baby ostriches huddle into a group, puff out their feathers, and spin in circles, very fast, to confuse and frighten the predator. (I imagined one of those “spinner” fireworks, only made of feathers).

Female ostriches are brown. They sit on the eggs in the daytime, and they look like brown shrubs from a distance. Males are black. They sit on the eggs at night, and they look like shrubs in the dark.

Ostrich legs are hinged like our arms, and they can kick a lion across a field. For an ostrich kick, imagine a backward-jointed knee swinging up.

On Fear Factor once, a guy had to drink a whole, raw ostrich egg.

You already knew that ostriches don’t stick their heads in the sand.

1 comment:

Shirley Bahlmann said...

I love the baby ostrich bit! I can just see them spinning around, like little kids dizzy dancing, only for them, it's a little more serious. "Don't eat me, eat him... no, eat her... no, wait until I spin to the far side to take a bite out of his tush..."