Does an Ostrich Hide Its Head When It Is Frightened?
No, an ostrich doesn’t hide its head when it is frightened. According to this old belief, the ostrich hides its head in the sand to escape danger, because it feels it is safely hidden.
What this tall bird actually does when it sights possible danger is lie flat on the ground with its long neck stretched out, thus producing a low profile. An enemy may not be able to see the ostrich when it is in this position.
If danger comes too near, the ostrich runs off at top speed. Although an ostrich cannot fly, it can run as fast as 40 miles an hour, and can easily outrun most of its enemies.
It’s a great example of optical illusion too! Ostriches are the largest living birds, but their heads are pretty small. If you see them picking at the ground from a distance, it may look like their heads are buried in the ground.
They do dig holes in the dirt to use as nests for their eggs. Several times a day, a bird puts her head in the hole and turns the eggs. So it really does look like the birds are burying their heads in the sand!