Ostriches are the largest living birds in the world. They can stand up to 9 feet tall and weigh up to 290 pounds. These giant birds are also flightless and have long necks and legs. They can run up to 40 miles per hour, which also makes them the fastest-running birds.

We may usually hear flighted birds outside our windows, so we are familiar with the sounds that they make, such as tweets, chirps, whistles, and calls. But what about ostriches?

Ostriches have a variety of vocal sounds that they use for specific purposes. The male ostrich can even make a booming call that resembles a lion’s roar! Read on to learn more about the sounds of an ostrich.

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The 4 Ostrich Sounds

1. Booming

One of the most common sounds that an ostrich makes is called booming. Only the male ostrich can make this sound. It’s used during the breeding season to attract a mate, defend territory, or signal to the rest of the flock that a predator is approaching. The beak remains closed, but the neck of the ostrich inflates to up to three times its normal size. A low boom sound is then produced.

If an ostrich is using booming calls to attract a mate, those sounds will be accompanied by a mating dance. The male ostrich will crouch down and alternate bringing his wings forward, one after another. If a female ostrich is enchanted by this dance, she will approach the male. Male ostriches will mate for life with one particular female from their flock, but this lifelong bond does not mean that he won’t also mate with other female ostriches.

2. Hissing

Like many other animals that hiss, the ostrich uses this sound as a warning to back off. The bird is either scared, angry, or irritated. The hiss comes before an attack to warn potential threats to leave. If you hear an ostrich hissing, back away and leave the bird alone.

3. Trilling

Baby ostriches will trill to call for their parents or other members of the flock. They also trill to communicate with their flock members.

4. Chirping and Whistling

Ostriches communicate with each other through a series of chirps and whistles. The birds call to and identify each other by these sounds. Ostriches travel and live in flocks to stay well protected against predators and to find mates easily. These sounds are commonly used to communicate within the flock.

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Ostriches use a series of calls, whistles, and other sounds to communicate with each other. Some of these sounds are meant as warnings to back off. For example, if an ostrich hisses, it means that they are agitated and should be left alone. Other sounds are used to call to each other, identify each other, and warn of approaching predators.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning about and listening to the different sounds that ostriches can make!

Featured Image Credit: Drais, Pixabay