Secretary Bird (bird a day)

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October 26, 2008A Bird A DayNo comments

Ok, so today’s bird was picked for me. It is the “Secretary Bird” also known as Sagittarius serpentarius. It is from Africa. Someone found this very interesting bird on flickr and we didn’t know what kind of bird it was, so we started an internet hunt. He thought it was a member of the raptor family. I thought it was a member of the emu family. He was right. =)

This bird is HUGE! It is 4 feet tall and has a wingspan of 6.6 feet! And its a carnivore being a raptor! Scary! The sexes look similar but the male has longer tail and head feathers. This bird is the official national emblem of Sudan.

Coat of Arms -- Sudan

Coat of Arms -- Sudan

And according to Wikipedia,

Secretary Birds have two distinct feeding strategies that are both executed on land. They can either catch prey by chasing it and striking with the bill, or stamping on prey until it is rendered stunned or unconscious enough to swallow. Studies of this latter strategy have helped construct the possible feeding mechanisms employed by dinosaur-like ‘terror birds’ that once walked the earth five million years ago.

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