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Secretary Bird

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Sagittarius serpentarius
Secretary Bird


They are found throughout Africa, south of the Sahara.


They live out on the open savannah grassland.

Body Traits

They were called the secretary bird because they have a crest of long, dark feathers that come off the back of their head that looks like the quill pens that clerks from the 1800’s used to stick into their wigs. They have very long legs and tail feathers. They are light gray, with black wing tips, tail, and thighs. Their faces have red and yellow skin.


They don’t make any calls, except for sometimes croaking when they display. They can fly very well, but don’t do it very often.


They hunt on the ground eating lizards, snakes, tortoises and rats. First they stamp their feet to flush out their prey. Then they grab them and eat them. They kill large prey by stamping them to death and then eating them.

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They nest in the acacia trees. They make a big nest up to 8 feet across. The female lays 2 - 3 eggs and warms them for 45 days (incubation) until they hatch.

Secretary Bird


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Sagittariidae
Genus: Sagittarius
Species: S. serpentarius

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