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Birds

  • Greater Flamingo

    Latin Name: Phoenicopterus roseus

    The gracefully beautiful flamingos can be seen on Sir Bani Yas Island; for the most part they are seen around the many mangrove areas; which are fertile feeding grounds for a number of bird species which include the flamingo!

    Quick Facts

    Weight : Up to 4 kg
    Height : 91 to 127 cm
    Native to : Africa; Arabia; Asia; South America and North America
    What they eat : Small organisms such as: plankton, crustaceans tiny fish, fly larvae.  
    Interesting fact : The shrimplike crustaceans which form a large part of their diet are responsible for the pink in the feathers of flamingos. Flamingos are filter feeders and use their feet to stir up their food and then their specially adapted beaks filter out the food.   
  • Emu

    Click here and hear how this animal sounds

    Latin Name: Dromaius novaehollandiae

    The elegant Emu is Australia's tallest native bird. They can grow to an epic height of almost two metres and weigh up to 60 kg! This fascinating bird is one of three ratite bird species (large flightless birds) to be found on Sir Bani Yas Island.

    Quick Facts

    Weight : between 18 - 60 kg
    Height : 1.5–1.9 m
    Native to : Australia
    What they eat : They eat a variety of plants as well as insects.
    Interesting fact : Their feathers are structured in such a way that it prevents heat from flowing into the skin that is why one can see emus being active even during the midday heat. Only the male emu incubate the eggs and raise the chicks when they hatch
  • Somali or Blue necked Ostrich

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    Latin Name: Struthio camelus molybdophanes

    The magnificent Ostrich is a large flightless bird native to the horn of Africa. It closely resembles the now extinct Arabian ostrich. The fastest bird on land, it can run at speeds of up to 70 km per hour. When threatened, the Ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground or will run away. It can cause severe injury with a kick of its powerful legs, so if you spot one; keep well back! 

    Quick Facts

    Weight : 65-150kgs
    Height : 1.8 to 2.8 m
    Native to : Arabia and Africa
    What they eat : In captivity, ostriches are known to eat just about anything. The Somali ostrich differ from other ostriches where they predominantly browse on leaves for their food.  To help grind their food for better digestion, ostriches will swallow small stones and sand.
    Interesting fact : The Somali ostrich was previously regarded as a sub-species of the Northern ostrich but was declared a separate species as recent as 2014.
  • Grey-Crowned crane

    Click here and hear how this animal sounds

    Latin Name: Balearica regulorum

    The stunning Grey-Crowned crane is found in the dry savannah of Africa south of the Sahara. They have a breeding display involving dancing, bowing, and jumping. The crowned crane is currently regarded as endangered and their natural population has declined by 70% in the past 45 years. The only stable population in the world is in South Africa. There are 3 pairs of grey crowned crane on Sir Bani Yas

    Quick Facts

    Weight : Up to 3.5 kg
    Height : Up to 1m
    Native to : Africa South of the Sahara
    What they eat : tips of grasses; seeds; insects and other invertebrates and a variety of grains
    Interesting fact : The cranes have a loud honking call which is often heard in the morning and sometimes during flight. The crowned crane is the only crane species that regularly roost in trees. 
  • Osprey

    Latin Name: Pandion haliaetus

    The proud Osprey is also known as the sea hawk, fish eagle, river hawk or fish hawk due to its love for hunting fish. It is brown on the upper part of the body and predominantly greyish on the head and underneath.

    Quick Facts

    Weight : 0.9 - 2.1 kg
    Height : 50 - 60 cm
    Native to : They have a very wide natural distribution and Osprey can be found on all the continents of the world except Antarctica 
    What they eat : Fish.
    Interesting fact : They hunt fish by hovering over water and then diving feet first to capture prey in their powerful talons
  • Rhea

    Latin Name: Rhea americana

    The rhea is the largest flightless (ratite) bird of the Americas and is related to the ostrich and the emu. There are two species of rhea; the greater rhea and the lesser rhea. You can see the greater rhea on Sir Bani Yas 

    Quick Facts

    Weight : 40 kgs
    Height : 1.5 - 1.7m
    Native to : America
    What they eat : Rheas are vegetarian and prefer broadleaved plants but they will also eat fruit and seeds, rheas have been observed to eat small birds; and insects
    Interesting fact : The rhea male will incubate the eggs and raise the chicks but sometimes the male will get a subordinate male to incubate the eggs while he establish a new nets with a number of other females.  
  • Houbara Bustard

    Latin Name:  Chlamydotis Undulate

    Adapted to arid conditions with little vegetation, the endangered Houbara Bustards are found in sandy and stony semi-desert regions. These slender birds can be identified by the tuft of hairs in the centre of their crown, and long plumes of feathers drooping over the neck. In the UAE, efforts are being undertaken to conserve the Asian Houbara, a sub-species of the group.

    Quick Facts

    Weight : 1.2 - 2.2 kgs
    Height : 0.66 – 0.73m
    Native to : The deserts of Russia and the Middle East as well as areas in North African and various Asian countries
    What they eat : These omnivorous birds eat seeds, insects and other small creatures
    Interesting fact : Houbaras walk for kilometres while searching for food, but rarely take to the skies in flight