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Secretary Bird

Semipalmated Plover
Scripp's Murrelet

About the Secretary Bird

Also known as: Secretarybird

The Secretary Bird is a large bird of prey native to sub-Saharan parts of Africa. Although flighted, they are often found on the ground, in open grasslands or savannah habitat. Secretary Birds have a distinctive appearance, with long crane-like legs and a dark scraggly head crest that contrasts with its light head.

Secretary Birds have extremely long legs, especially for birds of prey. They typically hunt for food on foot, stalking through grassland with long strides. They hunt small mammals, snakes, lizards, and other small prey items.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 24 July 2010
Scientific Name Sagittarius serpentarius
  • Accipitriformes
  • Sagittariidae
  • Sagittarius
  • S. serpentarius
Birdorable Family Birds of Prey
Conservation Status Vulnerable
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 29 July 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
55.11 inches
78.7 inches
116.4 ounces
Range West Africa Central Africa East Africa South Africa


From IUCN Red List:
The Secretary Bird is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2013 by BirdLife International. This species is classified as Vulnerable because recent evidence from across its range suggests that its population is experiencing a rapid decline, probably owing to habitat degradation, disturbance, hunting and capture for trade.

International Names

  • hadilov písař (Czech)
  • Sekretærfugl (Danish)
  • Secretarisvogel (Dutch)
  • sihteeri (Finnish)
  • Messager sagittaire (French)
  • Sekretär (German)
  • Serpentario (Italian)
  • ヘビクイワシ (hebikuiwashi) (Japanese)
  • Sekretærfugl (Norwegian)
  • sekretarz (Polish)
  • Секретарь (Russian)
  • Secretario (Spanish)

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