A ostrich with half a neck stuck under the ground it is a mental image that does not have to be strange to us. In fact, probably we have seen these birds represented in this way on many occasions. Normally, a reason is even provided: the fear, the need to flee that, instead of carrying out, they counteract with this behavior, as if they thought “If you can’t see my head, surely the rest of my body won’t either”. Well no, this is not so: ostriches don’t bury their heads out of fear.

The origin of the myth may be that ostriches they lay their eggs in holes that they themselves dig in the ground, according to BirdSpot, a page specializing in birds. “It should be noted that there are several eggs that they bury and that, in addition, these are of a large size, so the hole they have to dig with their pick has to be very deep (can exceed two meters)”, indicates the popularizer Alfred López (the smart one who knows everything) in 20minutes.


This is the which is why we can see that they have their heads buried in the ground for a long time. It must also be taken into account that, during the incubation period (carried out by both the female and the male), they introduce their heads to move and turn the eggs. In addition, once the eggs are placed inside the hole and during the incubation period, the ostriches “they use their beak several times a day to turn them over”, as adds BirdSpot.

Another possibility is that they are digging to get some kind of food from the ground and even seeing them with their heads in the ground is just an optical illusion: despite the fact that ostriches are the largest living birds, their heads are quite large. little. “If you see them pecking at the ground from a distance, it may look like they have their heads buried in the groundsays Glinda Cunningham of the American Ostrich Association in National Geographic.

It should not be forgotten that ostriches are great runners (reaching speeds of up to 70km/h) and that, in case of danger, this will be your best option (and not bury your head in the ground).