SECRETARY BIRD - by request
©San Diego Shooter
Head of an eagle, body of a stork, Secretary Birds are also known as “serpent eagles” - these highly skilled birds of prey are also famous as snake killers, which are part of their natural diet. They may use beak, wings and feet to kill a large snake; and they use their wings wings as shields to keep from being bitten. They can run so fast that they are sometimes referred to as “the devil’s horse.”
Why “Secretary” Bird?
There are a couple of potential origins of its name. One explanation was that the crest of long feathers at the back of its head resemble the quill pens that 19th century clerks stuck in their wigs. But recent findings indicate that its name was derived from the Arabic “saqr-et-tair”, meaning hunter-bird, which also translates into French as “secretaire”
Endemic to Africa, it is usually found in the open grasslands and savannah of the sub-Sahara.
The Secretary Bird is instantly recognizable as having an eagle-like body on crane-like legs which increases the bird’s height to around 1.3 m (4 ft) tall. This 140 cm (4.5 ft) long bird has an eagle-like head with a hooked bill, but has rounded wings. Body weight averages at about 3.3 kg (7.3 lbs) and the wingspan is over 2 m (6.6 ft).
The Secretary Bird enjoys a certain fame in Africa, specifically Sudan and South Africa, where it serves as a prominent Emblem on both countries’ Coat of Arms.
Source & More photos: http://www.avianweb.com/secretarybirds.html
Crested Cara Cara