Year of 2017

Secretarybird in Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa

Meet the secretarybird, but don’t be fooled by its administrative ‘title.’ This 4-foot-tall bird of prey is a force to be reckoned with. The southern African species is known for its eagle-like body and powerful, crane-like legs, which it uses to stamp on its prey until it can be swallowed whole. Research has shown that the secretarybird can stamp with a force of up to five times its own weight. The fierce bird gets its name from its unique headgear—the black feathers that protrude from its head are said to resemble old-fashioned quill pens stuck behind the ear of a writer or secretary. If anyone has the confidence to pull off this look, it’s the secretarybird.

The secretarybird or secretary bird is a very large, mostly terrestrial bird of prey. Endemic to Africa, it is usually found in the open grasslands and savannah of the sub-Saharan region. Although a member of the order Accipitriformes, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, hawks, vultures, and harriers, it is given its own family, Sagittariidae.
Scientific name: Sagittarius serpentarius
Biological classification: Species
Belongs to: Sagittarius
Sagittarius serpentarius Sekretär
Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius), picture taken at Serengeti Nationalpark, Tanzania