September 9, 2016 – Greater Rhea or Common Rhea (Rhea americana)
Requested by: @amicasworld
Found in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, these rheas are the largest bird species in South America. They eat mostly plant foods, such as leaves, seeds, fruits, and roots, along with some reptiles, amphibians, small birds, and insects. Reaching speeds of around 37 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour), they are swift runners and also good swimmers. Living in flocks of about 30 birds outside of the breeding season, females separate into small groups and males become solitary and territorial from August to January. Males build the nests, lining depressions with dried plant materials, and attempt to attract groups of females into their territories with courtship displays. The females lay their eggs in the nests of successful males, leaving them to incubate the clutches of 20 or 30 (sometimes as many as 80) eggs and care for the chicks alone.