Rhea americana

About the Greater Rhea

Like ostrich and emu, rhea are part of the ratite family – large flightless birds, which have grown much larger than their airborne ancestors. They live on pampas grass of Eastern South America and rely on their brilliant sight and powerful legs to avoid predators.


Fact Finder

The largest bird in South America

Rhea are around 1.5m (4’9″ft) tall

Males are larger than females

A male rhea will create an impression in the group called a scrape for the females to lay the eggs. The male that sits on the eggs and raises the young once hatched.

During breeding season, male rhea become very territorial and defensive.


Rhea are omnivores, they will eat mainly plant vegetation but also small animals like insects, lizards and rodents.

Greater Rhea are found in South American pampas plains.

Rhea are listed as near threatened with a decreasing population.


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