Secretarybird | Sagittarius serpentarius
The Secretarybird is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Sagittariidae bird family group which includes birds such as Secretarybird.
The description for the Secretarybird (Latin name Sagittarius serpentarius) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Sagittarius serpentarius can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 118 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 542. You will find a picture of the Secretarybird on page 481.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Secretarybird between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Secretarybird is known in Afrikaans as Sekretarisvo?l.
The Secretarybird has a height of 125 cms and weighs around 4000 gms. The head is coloured blue, grey while the bill is coloured orange. The Sagittarius serpentarius has a grey coloured throat, pink legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are grey.
The male Sagittarius serpentarius has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is blue, grey
Eyes are grey
Bill is orange
Legs are pink
Throat is grey
Back is grey
Feeding Habits ...
This bird forages for food on the ground
This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Secretarybird strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.
The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Secretarybird uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Secretarybird is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 3 eggs and they are coloured white.
The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.
The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.
The bird is found in the African bushveld
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
The Secretarybird is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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