Did you ever meet a bird that both looks very cool, and elegant, and is a fierce snake killer? Then let’s meet the one and only magnificent secretary bird!
Today we will join the adventure of our lifetime and travel to Africa to meet the most adorable bird that only looks innocent, but, inside the secretary bird’s chest, a heart of a fierce warrior is living.
let’s explore the life of the fearless African assassin, secretary bird.
I bet you really want to know why the bird has such an unusual name. Yes, I will reveal this dark secret, but first, let’s learn where this bird comes from.
Secretary bird name origin
You may also know that the word Sagittarius is the name of one of the Zodiac signs,
So does it mean that all secretary birds are born from mid-November to mid-December? Unfortunately, no, but it would be a fun coincidence!
This interesting bird got its name got in 1783 from the French naturalist Johann Hermann and many other scientists who tried to change it to bring it closer to scientific naming, but since Hermann’s was the first, it stuck with people.
What’s funny is that Hermann wasn’t actually a person who introduced the creature to a New World.
The bird was first described by Arnout Vosmaer, a Dutch naturalist, back in 1769.
As for its evolution, scientists were puzzled by the secretary bird’s evolutionary path for the longest time.
Now we know that this bird is the only species of its family, Sagittariidae, and it is part of Falconiformes order, so this bird of prey is related to hawks, falcons, and other raptors.
How secretary bird got its name
And finally, let’s talk about the non-Latin, a.k.a, “human name” of the secretary bird.
It’s believed that the secretary bird got this name due to the beautiful long black feathers it has on its head that look just like secretary quill pens.
Since this bird is also tall and has a very elegant appearance, it is understandable why people considered these raptors similar to human secretaries.
We are an amazing species that tries to find similarities everywhere, don’t we?
where do secretary birds live?
As I mentioned, our sweet, sometimes a flying friend is an African endemic, particularly because it lives in sub-Saharan Africa.
So you know that this bird definitely likes its home space hot, but not too hot because they rarely can be met in the hottest regions, and never in deserts.
The bird prefers savannas and grasslands where it can stand tall and look around freely for its prey.
Secretary birds are not afraid of heights and can live at elevations; however, they still prefer picking homes in places with a lot of free space.
They do not appreciate tall grass, and usually, you can meet them only in places with grass growing only under 2 feet (~0.5 m).
In this long grass, the birds can walk freely and look around for their prey.
Secretary bird feet
The species has the longest legs among all raptors, and it can successfully crouch legs when the bird needs it.
Scientists say that the secretary bird can walk up to 18 miles (30 km) a day in search of food!
Secretary bird behavior
When it is time to make sweet loving, the birds create huge nests about 4.9 feet (1.5 m) in diameter on trees from grass, sticks, and feathers.
It will be a home for future little ones, but the birds seem not to be too attached to their nests.
When they are ruined, secretary birds just build a new one, forgetting about the old crib.
Secretary birds do not migrate like other birds, but sometimes they can move from one African country to another if they are bored, but mostly because of the changes in their habitat or because there’s not enough prey for them to live on.
The Appearance of the secretary bird
Our sub-Saharan friends are definitely the “hotties” of the hottest continent. They are tall, neat, and look like they have some important news to tell you about.
It is a very large terrestrial bird with a head taken from an eagle and legs taken from a crane.
It is mostly covered with very nice white feathers with grayish undertones, but the tail and wings are black, giving the creature a more sophisticated look.
You can recognize the secretary bird not just by its nice suit but also by its very colorful face: it is usually orange, red or yellow.
And, of course, the most exciting part of this excellent bird is its crown.
It does look like the secretary bird just put these quills behind imaginary ears and now walking around thinking about the things it wrote.
Maybe it does, but we will never know: unfortunately, people can’t talk to birds. At least, yet!
The magnificent body of this bird ends with long pinkish legs with strong feet that are, unfortunately, not strong enough to grasp something with them.
That’s why the secretary bird rarely flies and only when they really need it.
Secretary bird size
Now, let’s move to the size. Males and females are not all that different, and you can’t really tell whether it is a female secretary or a male until you look closer.
Most secretary birds can grow to be about 4.2 feet (1.3 m) on average and weigh about 9 lbs (~4.10 kg).
As for the length of the birds’ bodies, they usually can grow to be up to 4.9 feet (1.5 m) long,
which makes them the tallest and longest raptors in the world. Quite an accomplishment!
Love season for the secretary bird
Like many other birds of prey, secretary birds usually do not enjoy each other’s company other than their significant other’s.
However, sometimes you can meet a small group of up to five birds hanging around together.
Secretary birds mate for life, and they create nests together to have kids, as I mentioned before.
They do not live in these nests after the children are old enough to look for their own path in life, and the pair usually just roams around in search of food, keeping each other in sight.
The birds can mate all year round, but the most significant loving season for them is from August to September.
Secretary birds have one to three eggs in a clutch, and since little secretaries have many enemies, usually only one survives to adulthood.
Little ones look really similar to their parents, but their black hair is more brownish.
So, as we learned, the Secretary birds have blissful, full of love lives, and in the wilderness, they can enjoy it for about 10 to 15 years.
In captivity, some specimens survived to celebrate their 20-year jubilee,
So maybe fresh air and a lot of physical activity these raptors enjoy in the wilderness are not so good for them at the end of the day.
Secretary birds and snakes: turmoil relationships with a spice.
As a human, I am pretty indifferent to snakes. I don’t love them, but I do not hate them either.
Secretary bird vs snake
However, secretary birds seem to be having a true love-hate relationship with snakes. They hate them so much that they kill them to feel the taste they love.
If it works, then a pair, since these birds usually hunt together, enjoy the snack and move on to the next prey.
Secretary birds are truly tireless: they hunt from sunrise until the evening!
However, snakes are not losers of the animal world too, so they really try to bite the dangerous killing bird too to save their lives.
It sometimes works since secretary birds are not as great with dealing with poison as our lovely friends, honey badgers.
So, to avoid death from poison, secretary birds try to stick a snake’s mouth with their wing feathers, and when the snake is confused and with a mouth full of feathers, a secretary bird reveals its secret weapon: a killer kick!
This killer kick is so powerful that some people even call the secretary bird “a natural-born ninja!”
Not such a bad side-job for a secretary, don’t you think?
A single powerful kick can deliver about 195 newtons of force, equivalent to about 45 lbs (20 kg) falling on a poor snake’s head. It is absolutely impressive!
As for other items on the birds’ menu, they usually eat other small reptiles, mammals, and even insects if they want to.
But snakes will always be their favorite, like sushi to them.
Secretary bird and Humans
Adult birds don’t really have enemies. Except for humans, of course.
Even though the distribution of secretary birds is quite large around Africa,
in 2020, it was stated that the species now has an endangered status, and the number of secretary birds dramatically decreases year after year.
Unfortunately, as always, humans are the problem here because we intrude into the birds’ natural habitat, change it, and leave them no other choice but to die.
And that’s sad. However, we really try to save the secretary bird in the wilderness to allow future generations to watch and admire these amazing creatures.
Leave your suggestions in the comment section below, and, until the next time, farewell!
6 most painful Insect bites in the world
A little arthropod animal with six legs and one or two pairs of wings is known as an insect. Insects...
Watch the video above – 1000 COCKROACHES vs ANTHILL in epic battle. Guess who won?
Killer whales(Orcas) are known to torpedo from below at top speeds by ramming the sides of the whales with their heads.
The orcas’ obsession with tongues is well documented; on several occasions, it has been the sole or nearly the only thing they eat from their massive preys.
click link above to watch video
Cheetahs get their prey easily compared to lions. Due to this competition, lions may feel that they do not have enough food due to the presence of cheetahs. The natural habitat of lions is also native to cheetahs. Since they live in close proximity, lions will attack or kill cheetahs in territorial disputes.
Click the link above to watch video
How Strong is an Anaconda?
Anacondas are semi-aquatic snakes that can be found in tropical South America, especially in the Amazon, and are different from...
Our wild swarm hive is out of control. We have to kill the queen bee…!
In the video above – The Bee-keeeper(Man) kills the Queen bee – Bees got pissed off, Bee-keeper got stung multiple times, but luckily, he survived…!
I love how his wife is just standing there while he’s screaming in pain..Lol
It’s quite funny actually…!
click the link above to watch video
Camels are fed with live snakes. Because there is a special kind of disease in their body. Due to which his whole body becomes stiff. To avoid this disease, Utahars(camel owner) feed live snakes to camels.
Although, there is no scientific proof that eating a snake can cure an animal’s disease.
Perhabs this is some type of hocus pocus probably practiced in rural places in the Middle East.!
Click the link above to watch video if you wish to learn more
Shadow is a vicious Rottweiler that has attacked dogs in its own neighborhood. Cesar Millan does the unthinkable by confronting this dog with his pit bull Junior.
We saw him writhing around in pain on a jungle floor after stinging himself with tarantula hawk wasp, but prepare for an even bigger insect bite…!
In his YouTube video, Coyote Peterson said that the Executioner Wasp sting was, by far, “the worst sting [he’s] ever taken.”
Click the link above to watch video
Saltwater Crocodile – Why are crocodiles so strong?
Crocodiles are large aquatic reptiles found in the Tropics of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australia. Crocodiles prefer freshwater habitats...
An animal handler who survived a gator attack is speaking out about the harrowing ordeal.
A gator bit down on 31-year-old Lindsay hands during feeding time at a reptile and animal zoo, as children at a birthday party looked on.
Bull jumped into the glass enclosure to get better leverage. Then the gator whipped the trainer underwater in what’s known as a “death roll.” She now reveals why she jumped in purposely, and how her gymnastics experience may have saved her.
Click the link above to watch video
Lion vs Jaguar
Which Cat Will Win? Lion vs Jaguar Fight to the Death
Lions and jaguars are both known as great hunters, stalking their prey with keen instincts and powerful frames to bring...
Lion vs Jaguar clash in a battle to the death
An apex predator in his habitat, the jaguar with his silence patience, and speed makes his scary face the last...
Lion Defeats Jaguar in Epic Battle to the Death
Who will emerge victorious in this epic battle? Which of these two magnificent wild cats do you prefer: the jaguar...
Jaguar vs Lioness – If they fought, who would win?
Follow my blog with Bloglovin Jaguar vs Lioness – If they fought, who would win? Who would win a fight...
Look at what happened When a Jaguar and a Lion fight to the Death
Look at what happened When a Jaguar and a Lion fight to the Death Can a jaguar kill a lion?...
CHIMPANZEE VS Red KANGAROO – Which is Stronger?
If a chimpanzee and a kangaroo clash, who would win? Although they are completely different and live in different parts...
How to Survive a Kangaroo Attack
The iconic, charming, cuddly, hop-along critters of Australia may not be as friendly as you assume. Kangaroos can be rather...
How strong is a Kangaroo?
The kangaroo is an Australian icon. Its size, strength, and speed are traits that make it a natural logo or...
The Wild2 weeks ago
10 strongest sharks ever recorded on earth
Lion vs Tiger1 month ago
White Lion and Tiger majestic appearance and rare coloration
Dog1 month ago
Pitbull vs Dogo Argentino in epic fight to the death.
The Wild4 weeks ago
Wolverine vs Tasmanian Devil fights to the death
Killer Whale4 weeks ago
Killer whale kills great white shark in an epic fight to the death
Snake2 weeks ago
Tips For Beginner Ball Python Owners