Wildlife Species of the Week

Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius)

Talk of classy and elegant bird, the secretary bird is the face of it. Interestingly, the secretary bird’s English name was coined from male secretaries in the 1800s. They wore all shades of colour that reflects on the plumage of Secretary Bird; long dark quills at the back of the head; long gray wing and tail feathers that resemble a tailcoat; and black feathers that go midway down the legs like short pants, hence the name SECRETARY BIRD.
Secretary birds are distantly related to buzzards, vultures, harriers, and kites. But unlike their raptor cousins, secretary birds spend most of their time on the ground.
These clever birds use two different hunting techniques. They catch prey by chasing it down, and then they either strike it with their bill or stomp on it until the prey is dead or stunned enough for the bird to swallow, usually whole.
The unique secretary bird is a rare bird across its range and is protected in many African countries. However, bush burning, urbanization and deforestation has triggered its conservation status to being Vulnerable.