Secretary Bird

You won’t find these long-legged birds taking notes, but you will see them stalking through the grasses or roosting in their tree.

Secretary birds and caracaras are the only terrestrial birds of prey, hunting for their food on foot. Adults are often seen working in loose pairs, or even small family groups, stalking through grass in search of small mammals, reptiles, birds, and large insects.

Well known for the ability to catch and kill snakes of all sorts, even venomous ones, the secretary bird either strikes prey with its bill or stomps on it until the prey is dead or stunned enough for the bird to swallow, usually whole.

Look for a nearby statue of another long-legged, but now extinct, bird: the Daggett’s eagle.

Did you know? Secretary birds have heavy scales on their lower legs that may protect them from unseen predators while walking through tall grass.

Conservation Status

Help Us End Extinction.

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