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The Secretary Bird Is So Gorgeous, It Could Easily Become A Character In A Pixar Movie

The secretary (Sagittarius Serpentarius) is a large African bird related to hawks and eagles. It got this name because of its quill-like crests on the back of its head that resemble 18th-century clerks with pens tucked into their wigs. This predatory bird has another distinctive feature. Eyelashes. Long, prominent eyelashes that makeup models would kill for.

Brian Connollyhas been working in nature photography for 10 years. Despite his experience, the secretary bird has still found ways of impressing him. “From what I’ve seen, the secretary bird is truly unique,” he toldBored Panda. “These exotic birds hunt snakes on the ground by stomping them with their dinosaur-looking legs and talons.”

And that’s completely true. Secretary birds are diurnal carnivorous raptors who feed upon a variety of prey, and their ability to kill snakes on the African grasslands is well documented. Unlike most birds of prey, the secretary bird is largely terrestrial which means it hunts its prey on foot. These beautiful birds may travel over 18 miles (30 km) a day in search of snakes, insects, and other animals.

And even though they feed upon snakes such as Adders and even Cobras, secretary birds will also consume lizards, amphibians, rodents, and bird eggs. Small animals are usually eaten whole while larger prey is stamped to death before being consumed. The secretary bird also stamps on the ground with its big stout-toed feet to flush prey out of hiding.

“The challenges of photographing secretary birds are similar of any wildlife photographer,” Connolly said. “They move quickly and getting them sharp and in focus is always a challenge.” The secretary bird looks more like a friendly stork than a bird of prey. These tall birds can measure around 4.5 feet (1.35 m) in height, weigh 7.3 pounds (3.3 kg), and have a wingspan of over 6.5 feet (2 m). The secretary bird has a relatively small head and a hooked beak. The plumage tends to be a light-bluish grey, and its face is red. Flight feathers are black, and they have black feathers on their thighs and the back of their heads. Their legs are long and powerful, and as mentioned before, are used for dealing with prey. They don’t have grasping toes like other birds of prey. Instead, their toes are thick and blunt with short curved talons on the ends.

Journalist source: Laurinavičius, R. (2019, JUNIO). BoredPanda staff. Retrieved from

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