Secretary Bird

jdmphotography

CAMBRIDGESHIRE, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

The 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-Sahara.Although a member of the order Falconiformes, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards, vultures, and harriers, it is so distinctive that it was given its own family, Sagittariidae.

It enjoys a certain fame in Africa, specifically Sudan and South Africa, serving as a prominent emblem on both nations’ coats of arms.

From a distance or in flight it resembles a crane more than a bird of prey.

The Secretary Bird is largely terrestrial, hunting its prey on foot, and other than the caracara it is the only bird of prey to do so habitually. Adults hunt in pairs and sometimes as loose familial flocks, stalking through the habitat with long strides.

Prey consists of insects, small mammals, lizards, snakes, young birds, bird eggs, and sometimes dead animals killed in brush fires. Larger herbivores are not hunted, although there are some reports of Secretary Birds killing young gazelles.

Artwork Comments

  • jdmphotography
  • Michelle *
  • brirose55
  • Elaine  Manley
  • Anne Smyth
  • Robert Goulet
  • Zoe Marlowe
  • Aussiebluey
  • Aussiebluey
  • Stormygirl
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