The emu is the largest bird in Australia, and one of the largest birds in the world, being second only to the African ostrich. It can be 5 to 6.5 feet long and can weigh up to 130 pounds, with the male usually being smaller than the female.Continue Reading
The emu has a long neck and long legs, with proportionately short wings. Like the ostrich, the emu cannot fly, but it can run up to 30 miles per hour. The bird's body is mostly light brown, with dark tips on the individual feathers. On the face is a sharp beak and eyes that possess two sets of eyelids.
The emu inhabits the woodlands, scrublands, grasslands and deserts of Australia, where it feeds on both plant and animal matter, including lizards, insects, small rodents, flowers and fruits. The bird has few natural predators, though dingoes are a threat. Lizards prey on the bird's eggs.
During the mating season, the female emu has blue skin on her neck that, along with vocalizations, she uses to attract males. Emus usually mate during Australia's cooler seasons, and the female lays eggs in a nest of bark, grass, sticks and leaves constructed by her mate. The male helps tend the nest and guards it against predators.Learn more about Birds