Is emu the 2nd largest bird?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

The emu is indeed considered to be the second largest bird in the world, with the ostrich holding the title for being the largest. These fascinating creatures are native to Australia and are known for their distinctive appearance and behavior.

When it comes to size, the emu certainly holds its own. On average, an adult emu stands between 5 to 6.2 feet tall, and they can weigh anywhere from 66 to 121 pounds. Their long legs and neck contribute to their impressive stature, making them one of the tallest birds on the planet.

Having had the opportunity to observe emus up close during my visits to various wildlife parks in Australia, I can attest to their impressive size. It’s truly awe-inspiring to see these magnificent birds strutting around with such grace and dignity.

One of the reasons the emu is often compared to the ostrich in terms of size is due to their similar physical characteristics. Both birds belong to the ratite family, which means they have flat breastbones and are flightless. However, while the emu and ostrich share some similarities, there are also distinct differences between the two.

For instance, while both birds have long legs, the emu’s legs are more robust and better adapted for running. Emus are incredibly fast runners and can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. This agility allows them to navigate their natural habitat, which ranges from open grasslands to dense forests.

In addition to their size, emus are also known for their unique appearance. They have soft, brownish-gray feathers that cover most of their body, with darker feathers on their wings and tail. Their necks are long and slender, topped with a small head that features a sharp beak and large, expressive eyes.

Emus also possess a distinct behavioral repertoire that adds to their charm. They are highly social birds and tend to live in small groups or pairs. During breeding season, the male emu takes on the responsibility of incubating the eggs and caring for the hatchlings, while the female moves on to find another mate.

The emu is indeed the second largest bird in the world, following the ostrich. Their size, coupled with their unique appearance and behavior, make them a truly remarkable species. Whether it’s encountering them in the wild or observing them in captivity, emus never fail to leave a lasting impression.