Secretary Bird

The odd-looking secretary bird is a South African bird of prey.  The reason for this bird’s name is easy to guess because of the tuft of long, stiff feathers that stick out from the back of its head.

The tuffs resemble the quill pens that old-time secretaries and clerks once carried behind their ears.  The secretary bird has a long neck and very long legs.  It is about four-feet tall and its plumage is gray and black.

It usually prefers to run instead of fly and is the only bird of prey that hunts on foot.

An inhabitant of Africa’s grassy plains, the secretary bird feeds chiefly on snakes, which it kills by stamping on the snake with its strong  feet and biting it with its hooked bill.

In their native home, farmers often tame secretary birds and keep them to kill rats and mice.  Another name for the secretary bird is “serpent eagle.” – Dick Rogers

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