Greater rhea

Scientific name: Rhea americana


The greater rhea is the largest bird on the American continent and is flightless. They are social animals, living in groups of up to 30 individuals.

Males are slightly larger than the females and greyer in colour. Male rheas have a more pronounced dark patch on their neck and upper back.

They are social birds, but males will go off and become solitary for a lot of the breeding season. 

At the start of the breeding season, females will split into small groups and males will fight over them. It is only the male who incubates the eggs and rears the chicks, with the females leaving to mate with other males and lay eggs in different nests.

Rheas have a deep call which sounds more like the roar of a mammal than a bird call. The call is mainly produced by the males during courtship. 

Near Threatened (Inc. Bar)
  1. We live...

    Next to the African Pygmy Goat enclosure, opposite the Spectacled Bear enclosure.

  1. Size Fact

    The head to body length of a greater rhea is 127 - 140cms.

  2. Food Fact

    The greater rhea mainly feeds on plant material, including leaves, roots, seeds and fruits. However, they are omnivores so they also feed on insects and small animals, such as lizards and small birds.

  3. Fun Fact

    Feathers from greater rhea are used to make feather dusters!

You might also like...

Maze Drone 1

Sign up to our newsletter