A book with a photo of Amica, a rhea, which is related to ostriches and emus, living contentedly indoors

Amica's World: How a Giant Bird Came into Our Heart and Home

by Meadow Shadowhawk Author, Washo Shadowhawk Author and Jane Goodall Foreword

Amica is a rhea—a flightless bird in the ratite family, related to ostriches, emus, and kiwis. Amica was adopted as a young chick and in turn quickly adopted mother and son Meadow and Washo Shadowhawk as his flock and made himself at home in their living room.

Now an adult, Amica stands nearly six feet tall, and has a six-foot wingspan. By day he roams the backyard, exploring, running, and building nests, along with his friends the chickens and the dog. At night, he watches television and sleeps in the living room with his friend the cat.

What's it like living with a rhea? As you'll discover in the words and photos in this book, it is never boring, and requires massive sacrifices. Rheas, which are typically hunted or raised as livestock, are highly intelligent and expressive, with a humanlike range of emotions. Amica’s extraordinary story shows the powerful and surprising connections that can be forged between humans and animals.

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Comments & Reviews


"...This book is not a manual on raising and caring for rheas, though it does describe how they raised and cared for this particular rhea. It is rather a story of a connection between people and animals, and how accepting a strange friend into your home can bring unexpected joys as well as perhaps some problems."



"With text and pictures by Meadow and Washo, and a forward by Dr. Jane Goodall, Amica’s World shows us (once again) the unique, compelling personalities of all animals, including those traditionally raised as livestock."


"The Shadowhawks' unlikely friendship with a bird is as delightful as they come. Get to know Amica and you'll fall in love, too!"


“This is a story of true love! It reminds us all how very lucky we are to share the world with creatures as beautiful as Amica—and with people as wise, observant, and loving as Washo and Meadow Shadowhawk.”


"Nonhuman animals are amazing beings. Individuals of all species are fascinating in their own right, and Amica, a most lovely and loving rhea, will warm your heart and soul and show you just how much we can learn from other animals as they teach us to rewild ourselves and reconnect with the remarkable animals with whom we share out magnificent planet. I hope that Amica's World will enjoy an international audience, and I shall do all I can to make this happen."


"As you read this book and study the photographs you will gradually fall in love. For Amica is truly loveable. More than that, she is extremely intelligent and a great source of entertainment. You are in for a treat!"