No, contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. This myth may have resulted from the fact that when lying down and hiding from predators, these birds are known to lay their head and neck flat on the ground. They also do this when incubating eggs to remain as inconspicuous as possible so they don’t give away the location of their nest and eggs. But, because the head and neck are lightly colored and blend in with the soil, their bodies are all that is visible when viewed from a distance, so it looked like they were burying their heads in the sand.
The myth of an ostrich burying its head in the sand when danger approaches is so strongly embedded in people’s cultures that even the nickname “ostrich” is used for someone who is unwilling to face unpleasant facts. But, this is far from the truth where it relates to real ostriches because an ostrich can and will defend itself quite effectively with a 4-inch claw on each foot, and a kick powerful enough to kill a lion. But, typically they will outrun their predators because they are the fastest running birds in the world, reaching a speed of up to 43 mph (70 kph) and maintaining a speed of about 31 mph (50 kph) for several miles. Now, that’s a fast bird, isn’t it?