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Secretary Bird

Secretary bird
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Sagittarius serpentarius
The Secretary Bird Sagittarius serpentariusis an extraordinary member of the bird of prey family.

It is a large bird of prey in the order Accipitriformes which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards, vultures and harriers, but it is so distinctive that it is given its own family.

It looks like an eagle, with a hooked bill, but has rounded wings and, in particular, very long legs, more like a heron. It gets its English name from a crest of long feathers reminiscent of the old quill pens which a secretary in earlier days would have used.

It is found in open grassy country in Africa south of the Sahara. It is largely terrestrial, and hunts its prey on foot. It eats small mammals and birds, snakes, insects and eggs. It nests in a tree, laying two or three eggs.

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