Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

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A secretary bird (Sagittarius Serpentarius) is a large raptor related to hawks and eagles. It got its name because of its quill-like crests on the back of its head which resemble 18th-century clerks with pens tucked into their wigs.

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

A secretary bird (Sagittarius Serpentarius) is a large raptor related to hawks and eagles. It got its name because of its quill-like crests on the back of its head which resemble 18th-century clerks with pens tucked into their wigs. The bird has another distinctive feature. Long, prominent eyelashes that makeup models would kill for.


Brian Connolly has been photographing nature for ten years. Despite his experience, the secretary bird has found ways of impressing him.


And that’s entirely true. Secretary birds are diurnal carnivorous raptors that feed upon a range of prey, and their ability to kill snakes on the African grasslands is well documented. Unlike most birds of prey, the secretary bird is mainly terrestrial, that means it hunts its prey on foot. The secretary bird might travel over 18 miles (30 km) a day in search of insects, snakes, and other animals.


Although they feed upon snakes such as Adders and even Cobras, secretary birds will also consume amphibians, rodents, lizards, and bird eggs. Tiny animals are usually eaten whole while larger prey is stamped to death before being consumed. Also, the secretary bird stamps on the ground with its big stout-toed feet to flush prey out of hiding.


The secretary bird looks more like a friendly stork rather than a bird of prey. Those tall birds can measure around 4.5 feet (1.35 m) in height, weigh 7.3 pounds (3.3 kg), and have a wingspan of more than 6.5 feet (2 m). The secretary bird has a relatively small head and a hooked beak. The plumage is a light-bluish grey, and its face is red. Flight feathers are black; they have black feathers on their thighs and the back of their heads as well. Their legs are long and powerful and as mentioned before, are used for dealing with prey. They do not have grasping toes like other birds of prey; their toes are thick and blunt with short curved talons on the ends.


Those majestic creatures prefer open grasslands, steppe, and tree-dotted savannas. They live in areas where the grass is relatively short so that they can hunt easier. Secretary birds build large nests in Acacia trees or thorn trees made from long, flat twigs and grass and can measure eight feet wide and one foot deep. It’s pretty standard for their nests to grow larger year by year. They return to their nests before dark to roost overnight after hunting. Those birds avoid forests, and dense shrubberies as these areas restrict their movement.


Courtship includes a mutual display of chasing one another with wings spread up and backward, similar to the way they act when chasing ground prey. Mating takes place either on the ground or in their large nests high up in Acacia trees. The female lays two to three oval eggs over two to three days. The rough textured eggs are incubated by the female for another 45–50 days.


The young start flapping their wings when they are 60 days old, developing wing feathers about 80 days old. Although they remain in the nest for most of the time, they already go on expeditions with their parents who teach them hunting.


The secretary bird has been admired in Africa for its striking appearance as well as its ability to deal with pests and snakes. It even made its way to the emblem of Sudan as well as the coat of arms of South Africa.


Image credits: Rudi Luyten, Brian Connolly, tlc photography, Keven Law


Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

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Thinking Humanity: Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie
Breathtakingly Beautiful Secretary Bird That Could Become A Character In A Pixar Movie
A secretary bird (Sagittarius Serpentarius) is a large raptor related to hawks and eagles. It got its name because of its quill-like crests on the back of its head which resemble 18th-century clerks with pens tucked into their wigs.
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