Measuring up to six feet tall and weighing up to 88 pounds, emus are the largest bird in Australia. The ostrich is the only living bird bigger than the emu.

What They Eat:

Emus are omnivores with broad, sharp beaks adapted for pecking. They eat shoots, seeds, leaves, bugs and other small animals.

What They Do:

Although they tend to travel in pairs, emus will form large flocks that travel hundreds of miles searching for food. Breeding pairs are loosely bonded, and the female usually leaves the male alone to incubate the eggs and rear the chicks.

How They’re Doing:

The population of wild emus is stable, abundant and widespread. In fact, an extensive network of emu-proof fences is used to protect farmland in some parts of Australia.

Where They Live:

Emus are widely distributed across most of Australia, but are notably absent from tropical rainforests, arid desert regions, and heavily populated areas. They occupy grassy plains, open forests and scrubland.

Where in the World: Australia

Habitat: Grassland, Open Forest, Scrubland

Animal Facts:

            Length: up to 6 feet tall

            Weight: up to 120 pounds

            Clutch Size: 5-15 chicks

Taxonomic Category: Bird

Where at the Zoo: Kangaroo Crossing!

Conservation Status


  • An emu nest is a semi-sheltered, shallow depression on the ground. The nest is roughly constructed of bark, grass, sticks and leaves.
  • A typical emu nest contains 5-15 large, thick-shelled, dark bluish-green eggs.
  • A male emu is called a rooster. A female is called a hen. The rooster incubates the eggs for 7-8 weeks and cares for the chicks for up to 18 months.
  • The emu rooster does not eat or drink while incubating the eggs!


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