|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The scientific name is Sagittarius Serpentarius. I found this animal in the savana of Masai Mara, walking and looking for something to eat.|
"The Secretary Bird, Sagittarius serpentarius, is a large, mostly terrestrial bird of prey. Endemic to Africa, it is usually found in the open grasslands and savannah of the sub-Sahara. Although a member of the order Accipitriformes, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards, vultures, and harriers, it is so distinctive that it was given its own family, Sagittariidae.
It enjoys a certain fame in Africa, specifically Sudan and South Africa, serving as a prominent emblem on both nations' coats of arms.
Its common name is popularly thought to derive from the crest of long quill-like feathers, lending the bird the appearance of a secretary with quill pens tucked behind his or her ear, as was once the practice. A more recent hypothesis is that "secretary" is borrowed from a French corruption of the Arabic saqr-et-tair or "hunter-bird."
The generic name "Sagittarius" is Latin for "archer," perhaps likening the Secretary Bird's "quills" to a quiver of arrows. Its specific epithet - "serpentarius" - recalls the bird's skill as a hunter of reptiles.
The Secretary Bird is instantly recognizable as having an eagle-like body on crane-like legs which increases the bird’s height to around 1.3 m (4 ft) tall. This 140 cm (4.5 ft) long bird has an eagle-like head with a hooked bill, but has rounded wings. Body weight averages at about 3.3 kg (7.3 lbs) and the wingspan is over 2 m (6.6 ft).
From a distance or in flight it resembles a crane more than a bird of prey. The tail has two elongated central feathers that extend beyond the feet during flight, as well as long flat plumage creating a posterior crest. Secretary Bird flight feathers and thighs are black, while most of the coverts are grey with some being white. Sexes look similar to one another as the species exhibits very little sexual dimorphism, although the male has longer head plumes and tail feathers. Adults have a featherless red face as opposed to the yellow facial skin of the young.
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- [2009-03-18 14:27]
Hello Franco !
Great picture of this wonderful bird - he is, I think, the most unusual bird of prey, and we do not see him very often on TN. The feathers standong on his head give him a funny look. I like his pose, the beautiful colors, the composition with wide space all around the bird... Very well done !
Ciao amico Franco, what a beauty:) you captured it perfectly MF! Hope all are going on well..
ma dai che meraviglia , bacio
- [2009-03-19 5:23]
Ciao Franco,questo proprio non me lo ricordo,forse sono stato sfortunato ma non mi sembra di averlo visto al Masai Mara. Bellissimo e nitidissimo scatto,complimenti per l'alta qualita' dei dettagli e dei colori,avanti con la prossima! Luciano