The secretary bird is a large bird of prey that is frequently seen on the open grasslands at Kariega Game Reserve. The birds spend much of their time on their nest or hunting for food, mostly snakes, rodents, reptiles and insects. Kariega field guide Jone created this informative video about the secretary bird with a particular focus on its nesting habits.
Five Interesting Facts About Secretary Birds
The name secretary bird was thought to originate from its crest which look similar to the writing quill male secretaries wore in their wigs in the 19th century. However, more recent research suggests that it is more likely to have originated from the ‘saqu ettair’ the Arabic word for ‘hunter-bird’.
Although secretary birds are capable flyers, with a wingspan of seven feet, they rarely take to the sky preferring to hunt by walking on the ground and killing their prey by stomping on them with their long, scaly legs or stabbing them with their beak.
Secretary birds eat their prey whole.
Secretary birds are territorial and noisy about it, making loud whistles, groans, croaks or clucks to protect their turf, or attract their life partner to share it with them.
The natural enemy of secretary birds are humans, hawks, large snakes and other carnivores.