Saturday, December 25, 2010

Secretary Bird

 The secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is a bird of prey found in Africa.  It is largely terrestrial and it appears on the coat of arms of South Africa and Sudan.

Physical Features
The secretary bird has crane-like legs and an eagle-like body.  It stands 4 feet tall with a wingspan of 6.6 feet.  It weighs 3.3 kilograms.  Secretary birds have rounded wings unlike eagles.  When seen from a long distance, it looks more like a crane rather than a bird of prey.  They have raptor bills and a wispy crest.  Since they have long legs and long tails, the taller and longer than any other abiding raptor.  They have two long central feathers which extends beyond their legs during flight.  The flight feathers of secretary birds are black like their thighs.  Adults have featherless and red faces while young ones have yellow faces.

Secretary bird feeding
The secretary bird is a bird of prey, mainly eating insects.  It loves eating grasshoppers and beetles.  Sometimes the may even eat small vertebrates like snakes and small mammals.  Their are also records of them eating other birds.

Distribution and Habitat
Secretary birds are found all over Sub-Saharan Africa, except western -central Africa and the Horn of Africa.  They live in savannas and steppe which have short grass and thorn trees.

Life Cycle
Secretary birds nest in any time of the year.  They normally have to eggs.  They build their nests on thorn trees platformed with sticks.  The eggs have an incubation period of 46 days.  The young ones fledge after 106 gays.

The secretary bird is terrestrial and are seen roaming around with measured steps.  They normally fly in pairs.  Sometimes, instead of flying, they can be seen soaring.  The only make loud noises when they are in their nest.  Their voice is like a hoarse growling and has a deeper voice than any other bird of prey.

Conservation Status
The secretary bird is not threatened.

Source of picture 1:
Source of picture 2: 

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