Sagittarius serpentarius is the national animal of Sudan. It’s know as the secretary bird. Sagittarius serpentarius is the binomial name of secretarybird. Sagittarius serpentarius is considered as a bird of prey. Their body shape is something like an eagle and legs are similar to the cranes. Their height is 1.3m for this large legs.
Our world is full of different kinds of birds. Some are small, some are large. Many of them carry almost the same characteristics. But, The Secretary Bird is exceptional. Here, we will learn in detail about this bird.
How long can a flying bird leg be? The Secretary Bird is the only bird who has an Eagle-like body and crane-like legs. The height of this bird is 4 ft 3 inches with 6 ft 9 inches wingspread. Its face is featherless with a red-orange color. Grey plumage and black thigh and flight feathers give it a nice look.
The Secretary Birds build their nest at the top of a thorny tree. Its nest is 8 ft wide, consists of twigs, leaves, grasses, animal fur, and dung, and lays one to three eggs at a time. They can live 10 to 15 years and can breed any time of the year.
The Taxonomic name of the Secretary is Sagittarius serpentarius. It means the archer of the snakes. It reflects the bird’s ability to kill even venomous snakes in the twinkle of an eye.
The Secretary birds are listed as vulnerable by IUCN red list. Its population declines because of deforestation and habitat degradation.
Interesting Facts About The Secretary Birds
- The Secretary bird appears on the coat of arms of South Africa and Sudan.
- In the heat of the day, the Secretary birds use thermal to rise to 4000 meters above the ground.
- A snake may try to bite the Secretary bird but, it controls it with its speedy leg and technique.
- The Secretary bird may look unusual for its long leg but, it gives benefits to survive.
- These birds prefer to walk rather than fly averages, about 20 to 30 km a day on foot.
- The Secretary bird has the longest legs of all birds of prey.
- It defend a large territory of about 50 square kilometers.
- The Secretary bird swallows its prey whole.
- The Scientists highlight the hunting strategy of a terror bird that moved around the whole planet over 3 million years ago by following the hunting skills of the secretary birds.
Why do they call it a Secretary bird?
The origin of the name of the Secretary birds is controversial. According to a recent theory of Hilary Fry of Aberdeen university, the name Secretary comes from the French secretaire, a corruption from the Arabic saqr-et-tair or hunter bird. Some Frenchman says that it is called secretary bird because of their long quill-like feathers at the top of the bird’s neck.
Scientific classification of Sudan’s National Animal
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Accipitriformes
- Family: Sagittariidae
- Genus: Sagittarius (Hermann, 1783)
- Species: S. serpentarius
- Binomial name: Sagittarius serpentarius
Secretary bird is the only living bird of prey of terrestrial habits.
Food and feeding
Snake is the main food of Sagittarius serpentarius. They also hunt mongoose, crabs, lizards, insects, tortoises, small birds, bird eggs, and sometimes dead animals killed in grass or bush fires.
Where does the Secretary bird live?
The Secretary Bird lives in sub-Saharan Africa. Especially the areas from Senegal to Somalia and south to Cape Province, South Africa.
They found in open areas of plains or the place recently burnt. They like to visit the places where the mammals deprive of cover. It prefers areas with grass under 0.5m and avoids 1m high.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Secretary birds are terrestrial. Snakes are the favorite food of Secretary Birds. The Secretary Birds prey may consist of insects like locusts, beetles, mice, hare, mongoose, crabs, lizards, tortoises, small birds, bird eggs, dead animals. The Secretary Birds hunts its prey on foot. They like to prey in pairs or small groups. The Secretary Birds are specialists in hunting snakes. It hunts snakes by stamping or dropping them from aloft. They are not even frightened of venomous snakes and eat them with ease. That is why they are so helpful for the local inhabitants saving their lives.
Secretary Birds are wild animals. They love to live independently. If you want to pet the Secretary bird, you would have to look into your local law regarding exotic animals. But, aside from that, you would need a lot of room because you cannot keep them in case. They are large birds. Besides this, you have to arrange a proper diet like reptiles and insects. And obviously, you would first need to find a breeder who has one for sale.