Secretary Bird

The secretarybird or secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is a 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 placed in its own family, Sagittariidae. The secretarybird is instantly recognizable as a very large bird with an eagle-like body on crane-like legs which increases the bird's height to as much as 1.3 m tall. Adults have a featherless red-orange face and predominantly grey plumage, with a flattened dark crest and black flight feathers and thighs. The secretarybird is endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa and is non-migratory, though it may follow food sources. Its range extends from Mauritania to Somalia and south to the Cape of Good Hope. The species is also found at a variety of elevations, from the coastal plains to the highlands. The secretarybird prefers open grasslands, savannas and shrubland  rather than forests and dense shrubbery which may impede its cursorial existence.


Secretarybirds generally roost in trees of the genus Acacia or Balanites, or even introduced pine trees in South Africa. They set off 1–2 hours after dawn. Mated pairs roost together but may forage separately, though often remain in sight of one another. They pace around at a speed of 2.5–3 km/hour, taking 120 steps on average each minute. After spending much of the day on the ground, secretarybirds return at dusk, moving downwind before flying in upwind.

Source : wikipedia