Sometimes described as Africa's "marching eagle", the secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) prefers to move around on foot, easily covering between 20 and 30 kilometers a day when hunting for food.
This large, terrestrial bird of prey is endemic to the open grasslands in sub-saharan Africa. The Secretary Bird is famed for being the prominent emblem of Sudan and South Africa and appears on both nations coat of arms.
The secretary bird is instantly recognizable as a very large bird with an eagle-like body. Secretary birds have the longest legs of any bird of prey and must bend them in a crouch to feed or drink. The Secretary bird will eat just about anything it can catch. It preys on small animals such as mice, hedgehogs and hare.
They are well known for their ability to catch and kill snakes of all sorts, even venomous ones! Secretary birds are clever enough to take advantage of recent fires, scavenging throughout the burn site for small animals that were unable to escape the blaze.
They may spend their days on the ground, but secretary birds are good fliers and nest and roost high up in acacia trees at night. In flight, their long legs trail behind them in the air.
April 13th, 2016
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