Look at this big gal! I wasn’t expecting to meet her! If you think she looks surprised, you should have seen Jim’s face. My first thought was that I was looking at Dr. Seus’s Grinch. You have to admit, she looks just like a friendlier version of the grinch…. except she isn’t green. And look at those eyelashes!
We have Holler Ostrich. Actually we don’t have any, but a fellow Hollerite has two. Personally, I don’t see the practicality of pet ostrich for us. I mean they can grow to nine feet, and weigh up to 320 pounds! And they can have attitudes. You can clearly see this guy’s attitude. Would you cross him? Apparently even lions don’t like to mess with ostrich and I can see why.
I think a 9 foot tall, 300 pound, attitudinal bird, that can run 43 mph, makes perfect sense in Africa, but less sense at The Holler. They aren’t your average canary after all. They can kill lions, and are the fastest two-legged creatures on earth!
Check out these female wild southern ostrich in Kruger. Aren’t they gorgeous? They are ballerina stepping, tutu wearing, high plains kickers! The Rockettes of South Africa! You go girls…..
And look how content they are. We saw two groups of ostriches. Females you are looking at here, and another group of males.
Contrary to common belief, ostrich do not hide their head in the sand when scared. Pliny the Elder just made that up around 73AD. But, as you can clearly see in this pic, they do hide their heads under their friend’s skirts. Some friends might consider this annoying, but this one seemed cool with it.
Anyhoo, seeing these incredible birds wild and free in Kruger was unexpected and a big thrill! The red necked northern ostrich at The Holler are endangered in the wild, so our neighbor gets my support for raising and caring for them, even though I would prefer to see them wild, free, and protected, in their native habitat.
Cheers to you from these spectacular, nine foot tall birds, with ‘tudes!
267 thoughts on “High Plains Kickers~”
Wow…..great captures of the heads in particular. Ostrich herl makes for some fabulous fly patterns 🙂
I can imagine~
Great pictures,Cindy. I hope you’re having a good time out there.
We’re back but we had an incredible time & thanks~
Fantastic as usual, dear Cindy !!
Awwww thank you my friend & cheers too~
Some very cool shots … and commentary too 🙂
Thanks and happy weekend!
Fantastic shots Cindy, those close-ups are amazing, showing every little hair! I do envy their eyelashes! We have wild emus here in Oz, and my hubby once got chased by one when he was a young fella and could run! He dived head first through the car window, my foot ready to pump the gas…..we got away. Talk about attitude!
Yes, emus can be scary too and even a tad more attitudinal from what I’ve heard. Sounds like that one got your heartbeating!
I’ve heard that they can be quite grouchy, is that true? 🙂 great shots!
Yes, I think so, if you bother them. I didn’t bother them! 😉
I wouldn’t dare whew lol
You are smart!
I don’t think I’ll see these creatures the way I used to after reading this post, Cindy. They are now, to me, the powerful, humorous, tutu wearing, living art work!
Oh good, cuz they are just incredible 120 million year old creatures!
Wow, these shots are stunning, Cindy! They can kill lions, I’m so shocked.
You should see their dino toe with it’s claw. It looks and functions much like a velociraptors I guess. It can eviserate a predator. But these are peaceable creatures who would rather run away and fight only when they have too. Only cheetahs can catch them~
That is incredible, Cindy! I guess the claw is the weapon!
Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks more for appreciating! <3
Oh they are GORGEOUS Cindy but it did take me reading this FOUR times before I read the word KICKERS instead of KNICKERS. Hmm, I can’t decide if I need more coffee or more sleep. Based on those knickers however I’d say my bed is calling, goodnight, lol! 🙂
Laughing, well I think you were on the right track because that one gal did have her head in the other one’s knickers……don’t blame me! It was the cameras fault for catching it! 😉 😉
😉 😉 😉
awesome creatures <3 beautiful your photos Cindy <3
Gracias mi amiga y abrazos! ,3
She is beautiful in her own way!
Yay!!! You like her. If she knew what an honor this was, she would be so pleased. Plus you have to admit, she is one fashionista of a birdie! 😉
And you know how much I love fashionistas!
Now here’s another one I didn’t see up close over at Safari West in Santa Rosa and, from your photos, I can even see the details in their irises! Wow! Yes, I was told how strong and touch ostriches are (that their kicks can kill a large animal like a man or lion)… however I’m just mesmerized by their adorable expressions (as seen in the headshots you provided). Thanks again Cindy! 🙂 <3 ~Lynn
Yes, they are beautiful. They can be lethal, but they prefer to be left alone. They run away. It is only if cornered or defending their chicks that they fight back with lethal force. The only animal that can catch them in a full run is a cheetah, but wild dogs can tag team and out smart them. These are 120 million year old creatures, and some subspecies are critically endangered in the wild.
Thanks for this information! Yes, I’m so fascinated by how far back birds go as well. I look at my own parrot at times and see a dinosaur! 😛
Herons especially, up close, look exactly like I imagine a dino would have looked!
Magnificent Cindy… You have done it again… taken me to places I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to go… Thank you so very much…
Awwww, I am so much more grateful you came along and enjoyed yourself!
That must have been a memorable trip. These images are real gems.
Yes, the creatures and scenery were just incredible. It is an amazing experience~
Your photos are simply incredible! I love the idea that they have “attitude”, and they look indeed like ballerinas, especially the young girl leggy type, except that their big bodies are more like dowagers! The red necked ones look like they’re wearing lipstick. Thank you for yet another proof that God must have a great sense of humor!
I know She does! Laughing and hugs to you my friend~
Great pics, Cindy. Love those eyelashes! They look like living dinosaurs to me and I definitely wouldn’t want to raise them – pretty intimidating!
Yes, they are living dinos, with maybelline eyelashes! 😉
I didn’t know they could kill lions! and it’s quite amazing considering the grace the pair of ostrich seems to have to move like dancers. Thanks Cindy = )
Walking wild in Africa, they reminded me absolutely of ballerinas. Very graceful~
A friendlier ~ less green Grinch, I like that assessment…great shots Cindy, to kind of quote Suess “what sight you are seeing”
And, “Oh, the places you’ll go…..” How did he know? Did you know I jumped over the fence of his backyard when I was a kid, hoping to drive him out of his house? With my best friend. She met him because she was persistant, but I never did….
What an absolute treat it would have been to have met him ~ his made the greatest impact on me any author ever could (we read and re-read his books). Kudos to your friend 🙂 Take care ~
She got an autograph! Jenny are you reading this???? Her name is Jenny…..and we are still in touch. We met at age three.
Those are fantastic pictures – such close ups! I hope you were far away – I heard they are very dangerous and can kill someone with one kick. I would not want one as a pet. 🙂
I don’t see them as a pet either, even though you can buy a chick over the internet for $99 dollars! That’s kinda scary isn’t it?
Given how deadly they are — that is scary!!
These are so good Cindy!
Awwww, thank you my friend~
That was truly wonderful!!!!!!! I loved it.
Awww, if you are smiling, I am happy! <3
Wonderful as always. The top two remind me of someone I know… !
Me too, although they were someone’s I used to know, thank God! 😉
Nice post, yeah not seeing them as pets either. Got a pic of one scratching head with that big toe…will post at some stage when we get to that part. Fun read.
Glad you enjoyed and so much better to see them in Africa!
Fun facts that I had to read to my husband. Apparently we knew very little about ostriches! Thanks for the entertaining lesson 🙂
It is not like a bird one typically encounters! I was really floored to see them in Africa. We didn’t see any the first time we went. They are thriling to see in the wild~
Love the images and your sense of humour!
Oh good! Thank you! <3
am surprised at how beautiful this bird is when i see the whole body. That is quite a face.
Yes it a contradictory creature, graceful yet awkward, beautiful yet peculiar. I suspect this may have to do more with our perceptions than the creature itself. They are ancient animals, so they may even trigger a collectively unconscious response in us. They are fascinating~
Gorgeous creatures. It’s no wonder their feathers were once high fashion.
Women seemed to have always wanted to emulate birds, even though with birds, it is usually the male that is the most decorative.
Fantastic Photography Cindy
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
Hugs back to you my friend!
Really stunning photos Cindy, we can see all so good. They can be fun to have free in a bigger area, but of course they are best in free nature 😀
I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have one live with you……They are such formidably evolved creatures. Fun? I bet they could well be! <3
They are fun, just we remember to show them the needed respect 😉
Always with all creatures great and small!
You know they’re free range. A coop to hold ostriches could double as an assembly hangar for NASA. It’s a great photo, by the way.
That is the essence of the problem about keeping an ostrich as a pet. How can you be sure you can contain them? You aren’t running a zoo or a prison, hopefully. Domestic animals occasionally get out. I don’t want to stumble out in The Holler with my morning coffee and run into an agitated ostrich! 😉
Nope. They have a very bad attitude. They taste good though.
Maybe they are just psychic dino birds and know the people who think they are tasty…… 😉
Just might be. They do taste good though
As always amazing images and fascinating post. Thank you and enjoy a lovely weekend. Janet.
Awwwww, so kind and the same to you my friend!
Another brilliant share… I will be getting photos of them in the Kalahari, and share them on our return…
I can’t wait! I know there are a lot of them there. I’ve been looking at photos of real estate around Kruger, and sending some to my hubby. Of course, we are very unlikely to move, but……..one can always dream!
Want to buy my house….??
Where are you moving?
Fascinating bird… 😀
I definitely think so too!
Such funny, grinning faces…esp that first one! 🙂
Caught her surprised and she was so cute!
Exquisite and beautiful, Cindy!
Awwwww……thank you! <3
magnificent and majestic bird, especially when it runs, but as you say Cindy, not your average canary. Very dangerous. I’ve seen one attack a person. Not a pretty sight.
Yikes. Can you tell me more about that?
This guy was trying to ride one, they do that on the Ostrich farms in Oudtshoorn in the Cape, when it suddenly turned on him. Pecked him terribly and then gave him a kick the likes of which you’ve never seen. He was taken to hospital very badly injured but survived.
Wow! I know they used to have ostrich races in the old days. Seems suicidal to me, as well as unkind.
I find it terribly unkind. There’s a price to pay when you do stuff like that.
Yes, there is. We are in complete accord.
They are comical birds and well caught and thanks for putting a like on PHNAT (they like encouragment). Have a god day. G .:-) 🙂
Well you know me, I am always one to break the rules about no photographs, especially in Russia! 😉
I love breaking rules about photography in countries that take rules VERY seriously!
I see an ostrich face here! 😉 😉
Tutus and ‘tudes. I love it!
You have to admit, they do kinda go together! 😉
Great photos! Wow!
It does seem strange to raise them in captivity. I never really thought of ostriches as graceful until I saw your photos of them in the wild. They “fit” there.
In the closeup it looks like he/she is wearing lipstick. 🙂
Yes, I wonder if women ages ago looked at birds and thought, “I want to look like that,” so they developed makeup! 😉 😉
They are wonderful photos Cindy. Love the info that they don’t bury their heads in the sand. I don’t think I’d want to mess with one.
I love it that this whole head burying thing is not true, but we still repeat it after Pliny the Elder first said it in 73AD. Says a lot about the historical development of human knowledge! 😉
It does indeed.
Great portrait photo-session, Cindy. You had an excellent model! 🙂
I did, several highly photogenic models! 😉
Great shots and amusing words. We met an Ostrich farmer in Portugal and these birds can pack a powerful kick if they wish. And do we really want to eat them. I think it has now gone out of fashion but saving them in the wild is so important. Enjoy more and post more!
One subspecies is extinct, the red neck is “critically endangered” in the wild. There is no comparison to seeing them free on the plains of Africa, to seeing them in a corral at The Holler. They look entirely different. Prettier and happier.
Agree, the best place but so many habitats threatened.
I know, and it reflects so poorly on us as a species!
What a humorous looking bird and well captured by you! Our emus are quite entertaining here and have a powerful kick too.
I know they do. Of course there is a Hollerite with an emu too, and of course I visited said emu, oh, and the neighbor too, of course. The emu struck me as not very bright, but I surely would not say that to his face! He would whomp me! 😉 😉
I love your beautiful, celebratory photos and reflections Cindy! “They are ballerina stepping, tutu wearing, high plains kickers! The Rockettes of South Africa! You go girls…..” Your work always makes me smile and appreciate the amazing wonders in the world. And I always learn something new. “Contrary to common belief, ostrich do not hide their head in the sand when scared. Pliny the Elder just made that up around 73AD.” Thank you for sharing your vision and humor 🙂
You are a beautiful soul Carol and I am touched by your kindness my friend.
Hello Cindy, a wonderful picture for a very wonder bird.Thank you for visiting my blog.Have a nice weekend.Jalaal
Back at you Jalal, and cheers too!
Never knew all this about the ostrich, Cindy — thanks for educating me today! Happy Holiday weekend, too!
It’s everything you never wanted to know about ostriches day! It will come in handy someday, if you meet an ostrich. 😉
Or show up as a contestant on Jeopardy!!
Well there is always that possiblity……..;)
Oh they are so cute! Love these huge eyes!
They really are adorable big birdies! <3
They do look quite assertive!
Yes, I would definitely aquiesce to their authority!
I wish they could have talked with you. I bet they have some real tales to tell you. I had no idea they were the fastest two legged animal on earth. There you go, educating us again.
These are factoids you need in life. Consider me the font of useless information! 😉
The ladies are lovely! We owned a couple of ostriches which were maintained on a friend’s farm. They were supposed to be a mating pair, but turned out to be two males. We were warned about their temperament – a good kick can kill you – so we never got close to them.
My gosh! Did you see why I love blogging! You were an ostrich owner. I suppose if you got a female for them it might improve their moods, although I hear mating competition is a time when they are particularly testy. The thing I love most are the chicks. The females seem to cooperate raising them in these groups and they are sooooooo cute!
What amazing feathers. I think my heart would stop if one of those came running up on me.
Yes, they would definitely get your full attention. My brother went to turn on his sprinklers once and a 12 foot anaconda rasied his head above the faucet head. It got everyone’s attention, the dogs, the fireman, fish and game, and it got him in the newspaper too! This was in La Jolla of all places~
I quit weeding in an area yesterday because one of the garden snakes which love my yard slithered by. I know they won’t hurt me but it is a primal fear. I think if I saw a 12 foot anaconda in my yard — I’d move to another city. 😀
Reblogged this on Art, animals, and the earth.
Gratitude for you tireless advocacy my friend and admiration too! <3
You’ve done it again Cindy a fabulous post with great photos and lots of information in easily digested blocks under each photo. Love the way you arrange your posts.
Awwww, I love you Pauline. Thank you~
Oh such beautiful majestic animals!
It takes beauty to see beauty~
🙂 That’s very sweet of you to say!
Yep, certain grumpiness “grinchiness” about the face – that’s for sure – but oh, the splendour of the feather coat steal the day for me 🙂
Yes, for me too! They are magnificent! So pleased you agree~
Very cool birds with attitude! !
They are Wolfie sized birdies! 😉
The heads are just amazing….. great shots!!…I’m really short of adjectives…. 🙂
They just are so different from what we normally see that your loss of words makes perfect sense!
With all the animal attacks in the wild parks we hear in the news, I am so happy that you came home in one piece and brought all these wonderful photos with you. 🙂
Well, we were prudent, listened to the animals, and respected their spaces. I feel more unsafe hiking the back trails of yellowstone and seeing grizzly, then I ever felt in Africa.
exquisite detail, extraordinary clarity…
Awwww, so kind my friend~
That was funny you talked about their habit of hiding their head. It makes me wonder why 🙂
I think it was just an angle illusion of the shot. The ostrich was lowering her head and it appeared to disappear under the feathers of the bird in front of her!
Siempre que veo avestruces sonrio. Y es que tienen una expresión muy simpática 🙂
Ahhhhhh, tu son muy amable mi amiga! Abrazos y gracias tan bien~
They are very pretty! They are for sure ballerina’s. I had no idea they could run so fast.
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY, CINDY!
Awwww, thanks dear Resa~ <3
Completely wonderful! RH
Awwwww, so nice……
Beautiful birds with tudes! I sure wouldn’t want to mess with one! Happy 4th of July Cindy! Hugz Lisa and Bear
Hope you guys had a wonderful holiday!
They do have some knockout lashes! :*
Puts us to shame doesn’t it, and natural too!
Even with mascara – mine don’t get that long.
Extraordinary: you, the birds and your photos.
Oh so nice & so appreciated! <3
wunderschöne Aufnahmen Cindy, wow, gefällt mir…
Guten Tag Ernst und vielen dank mein Freund~
They are such amazing birds! I didn’t know they could get that tall!!
Gorgeous pictures, as usual!!
So happy you appreciate these remarkable big birdies my friend & cheers to you~
Liebe Cindy, super, einen schönen Sonntag, Klaus
Danke, dass du mein Freund und gluckliche Woche, um Sie!
The talons on these birds are massive and deadly!
The best visual representation of a carnivorous dinosaur ever, even though modern birds are still believed to descend from sauropods instead of the other suborders that resemble modern birds.
Yes, I agree with you. Ostrich are omnivores eating some lizards, turtles, bugs etc, but they are mostly herbivores, perfering fruit and plants over meat. They, and all sub-types of herons make me instantaneously think “dinosaur” evertime I look at one closely!
Wow! I love the close-up…terrific. What expressions…love the one with the open mouth.
It is a graphic pic, rather than a pretty one, so I am especially pleased you appreciate it. Thank you~
Is that Big Eggo of the BEANO 😉 ?
I just bet it is , but don’t tell anyone……..
it is a great pity.
Hah! That opening photo made me laugh. Thanks.
Laughs are always good and you are most welcom! 🙂
This was a fascinating post, Cindy! I am shocked at the abilities of these strange but beautiful birds. Your amazing photos and clever comments made this my favorite “read” of my day.
Awww, such a joy always to get a comment from you sweet Robin!
This was a fun and funny post with those amusing ostriches. I am still close to speechless of their possible 9 foot height, Cindy. Jaw dropping!
They definitely got my full attenion when I saw them in the wild….. laughing!
Great shots, Cindy! And I agree with you…they are a perfect fit for the savannah 🙂
Yep, I can see why they survived there for millions of years, let’s hope they continue too.
Cindy, love the pictures and of course your commentary which always brings a smile to my face. Is Africa the photographer’s paradise? The closest I’ve ever gotten to live African animals is at the St. Louis zoo 🙂
Yes, Antarctica and Africa, followed by Canada offer completely unfair advantages to photographers and I am serious!
eine schöne ruhige Woche wünsche ich dir, Klaus
Sie sind sehr freundlich, mein Freund . Danke und haben eine wundervolle Woche ~
Great photos and story telling Cindy. I like the way you teach us in a fun way. Thanks! 🙂
Oh, so kind and I hope not too teachy!
no, pure fun!
Fantastic, thanks for sharing:)
Thanks more for appreciating!
well done – guess I should be good and not say they reminded me of some people I’ve seen… hmm, oops
Go ahead and say it with pride, I already did! 😉
that first picture looks like my grandmother when she was yelling at me
Oh, my sounds truly frightening and not so nice of her!
I sure enjoyed this Rockettes post Cindy! Excellent photos and fun info of yet another spectacular bird on earth. 😀
We have some truly remarkable feathered friends don’t we my friend!
Great pictures! That first one is priceless! Ha, ha! 😀
She looks so curious and friendly!
Cindy, I just learned so much through you about the ostrich. I did not know, they grow this tall and weigh so much. The pictures are awesome. Thank you for sharing! Hugs! Veraiconica
Everything we always wanted to know about ostrich but were afraid to ask! It was news to me too Veraiconica, but now we both know!
Absolutely incredible shots, Cindy! 🙂 🙂 Those openers are amazing! I’m smiling from ear to ear. And fancy me not being ostrich-like at all. I always thought we had so much in common! I’m exceptionally good at burying my head in the sand. 🙂
I so wish I was better at it! I need a little sand in my head! 😉
Hahaha! Great pics! These birds always make me laugh. 😀
I was just over reading your ‘darkest day” and I wanted to send you love, had no words though, and couldn’t find where to leave a comment, and then you left this message. I’m going back to your blog. You are a remarkable person.
Aw. You are so kind. 🙂
I like the words and love the birds.
Don’t give me any funny replies to this comment Cindy.
No pun intended , on words & birds. 😉
Oooooooo, but it’s so hard to stop myself re: you and the birds Jack, but I will, just for you!
Pauline says “Have you been chatting up the birds again, if I am late back from the beach or the gym.” But we have no worries if we leave the cage door open the bird will only fly if it is not happy.
I should have paid you more of a complement for those great bird photos.
Great is right when talking about them. They make the Aussie Emus look like chickens even the Cassowary is a wimp compared with them. The fastest two legged animal, with out a car. 😉
Now I know what Pauline means when she says Jack loves birds……..laughing! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I’m sure you do like them, but you also know you picked the best one, lucky man. She’s lucky in visa versa too though. You don’t ever need to compliment me. Your and Pauline’s friendship is the biggest compliment for me. <3
They’re amazing creatures!
They are perfect Clowie sized birds!
Sparkling and splendid face!
Pretty compelling, I must admit! Looks like a happy birdie~
If any birds were New Yorkers, these ones would be! 🙂
Well capture pictures of wildlife.
Thank you my friend & cheers to you~
Magnificently caught! But I agree – I would never mess with one of these.
Thank you and yes, they are definitely dino birds and I wouldn’t mess with a dino either! 😉
Down in Oudtshoorn (not too sure if you can do it anywhere else in the country), you can actually hop onto an ostrich for a ride
Yes, in the not too distant past I know they had ostrich races. I think it’s a bit unkind though. Hope you are doing well my friend. I thought of you often this week. Remember this too shall pass, and at some point, it will barely be a memory! <3 <3
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Thank you my friend and cheers to you!
Very glad to hear they can look after themselves! There are however ostrich and emu farms where they’re raised for meat😟
I know. The red necked ostrich is critically endangered in the wild. One subspecies is extinct. It is hard to imagine eating them especially in these circumstances.
We saw only one ostrich when entering Kruger. The others we came upon were along the Cape Penisula outside of Cape Town. Yes, they are big. Best to use that telephoto lens!
My camera was essentially broken when I took these. I think it got exhaustion! 😉
Thirty five years ago my (little) boys and I accompanied my (first) husband to a big zoo in Japan where one of the dojo members was employed. A half dozen or so other karate masters decided to visit with us, also. While there feeding time arrived. They decided it would be fun to feed the ostrich. Being masters of their discipline they were not concerned about a bird kicking (except for the guy who worked there). Of course the ostrich got loose. 😀 All of the karate masters were unable to catch the ostrich nor herd it back into the ostrich area. They ran in all directions, bumping into each other, dodging the ostrich, bowing polite excuse me to each other … 😀 😀 And they were all genuinely afraid of those bird-feet disemboweling kicks!!!
Good for the ostrich. No one should antagonize these gorgeous birds and they need to be protected in the wild as they are now only seen in national parks and preserves. Pretty soon the only ostriches will be on meat farms. What a world…..
Meat farms, like turkeys? It never occurred to me that they are meat (Is that double-think or blind?), though I was aware there is a market for the eggs.
Yes, we have the pink throats that are critically endangered in the wild, “living” on meat and egg farms. It would be like if we killed all the orcas in the wild, and only had them at sea world where they are abused.
Wonderful photos! Tweeted:)
So kind and much appreciated! <3
You learn something new every day!
Martha Stewart wants you too! This is her mantra~
Written with humour and feeling – love the sharp pictures and can understand you being wary of your neighbour’s bird
Yes, they are perfectly kitted out for Africa, for The Holler? Not so much, although they certainly can stare down the coyotes so maybe I’m wrong!
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HI Cindy, they do have a certain elegance. Happy New year to you and your lovely family.
Thank you Leslie. I wish You ✨ Health & Happiness in The New Year!
Thank you Cindy.