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Watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”

Langston Hughes

The Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is a large, mostly terrestrial bird of prey. Endemic to Africa, it is usually found in open grasslands and savannah. Its common name is popularly thought to derive from the crest of long quill-like feathers, lending the bird the appearance of a secretary with quill pens tucked behind his or her ear, as was once common practice.

The Secretary Bird is instantly recognizable as having an eagle-like body on crane-like legs which increases the bird’s height to around 1.3m (4 ft) tall. This 140 cm (4.5 ft) long bird has an eagle-like head with a hooked bill, but has rounded wings.

Secretary Birds have two distinct feeding strategies that are both executed on land. They can either catch prey by chasing it and striking with the bill, or stamping on prey with their feet until it is rendered stunned or unconscious enough to swallow. They are well-renowned for this method of catching and killing snakes.

  1. 21st July 2010 – FEATURED in Inspired Art
  2. 29th July 2010 – FEATURED in Mozambique and Neighbouring Countries
  3. 28th May 2011 – Placed in the TOP 10 of the challenge African Birds of Prey in “African Art & Photography” – 6th Place
  4. 30th May 2011 – FEATURED in Your Country’s Best

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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Comments

  • lisameryl
    lisamerylover 4 years ago

    Maree, what a striking and gorgeous bird! I love the colours! I do see similarity
    between this lovely bird and the Eagle!

  • Thank you Lisa! I’ve added a full pic of him since you saw this post, maybe you’d want to have a look!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Astrid Strahm
    Astrid Strahmover 4 years ago

    Another sympathic bird and great work Maree… :-)

  • thanks Astrid, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallover 4 years ago

    I love the look in his eye!! So beautifully done Maree!!

  • Thank you very much Lizzie! these birds absolutely fascinate me!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Jim Phillips
    Jim Phillipsover 4 years ago

    Wonderful details in this very beautiful painting and a most interesting narrative.

  • Thank you Jim, I’m glad you found it interesting.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • lisameryl
    lisamerylover 4 years ago

    I love the pic! Extremely tall bird! It’s fascinating how they manage to steady themselves on such long slim legs!

  • Thought you would Lisa!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Angela  Burman
    Angela Burmanover 4 years ago

    Fantastic painting Maree. Love your style and such a wonderful creature

  • Aaaw, thank you so much for your lovely comment Angela!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Ken Powers
    Ken Powersover 4 years ago

    Great work with the feathers Maree! You have magnificent skill!

  • Thank you so much for the compliment Ken! Really pleased you like it!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • © Linda Callaghan
    © Linda Callaghanover 4 years ago

    you have done a fabulous watercolour of this bird Maree!

  • Thanks for that Linda!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • JJsEscape
    JJsEscapeover 4 years ago

    A fabulous Watercolour Maree.. marvellous!! ~ Judy

  • thanks a lot JJ, pleased you like it!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • LoneAngel
    LoneAngelover 4 years ago

    wonderful work

  • Thanks so much Angel!

    – Maree Clarkson

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