Greater rhea

About This Project

The largest bird in the Americas!

A member of the ostrich family, the rhea, like the other ratites, is flightless. Nevertheless, its long legs enable it to run at speeds up to 60 km/h! The male mates with a flock of from 2 to 12 females, but he is solely responsible for sitting on the 10 to 30 eggs laid in his nest and for rearing the chicks!

At La Barben zoo the rheas live with giant anteaters, and in 2019 they bed successfully 3 chicks!

Latin name: Rhea americana
Class: Aves
Order: Struthioniformes
Family: Rheidae
Size: 1.5 m
Weight: 20 – 25 kg
Lifespan: 20 years
Incubation: 35 – 40 days
Number of eggs: 8 to 12 per female
Habitat: savannah, swamp
Diet: herbivorous, frugivorous, insectivorous, carnivorous!
Distribution: South America, from north-eastern Brazil to central Argentina.
Conservation status: near threatened