Secretary Birds and Their Types
What bird wears a long gray coat and black knee pants? The secretary bird. Well, not really, but the birds’ long gray tail feathers look like a coat and the black leg feathers resemble pants. Secretary birds live in Africa. They can fly, but they spend most of their time on the ground looking for small animals or bugs.
Secretary birds have long legs and can walk up to 20 miles per day. These smart birds mate for life or for many years. Couples work together to build huge nests high in acacia trees. The nests are made from sticks, leaves, animal fur, poop and feathers. Secretary birds lay two or three eggs each summer. When the eggs hatch, the parents feed the babies mashed up insects.
Fun Facts about Secretary Birds for Kids
- Secretary birds roost in tall trees at night to sleep.
- These birds can hunt and kill snakes – even poisonous ones. Secretary birds have thick scales on their legs to protect them from snake bites. They also puff their feathers out when killing a snake to confuse the animal. The snake might try to bite the feathers instead of the bird.
- Secretary birds peck at their prey to kill it or stomp on it with their feet.
Secretary Bird Vocabulary
- Mate: find a partner
- Poisonous: contains poison
- Scales: overlapping layers of thick skin
- Acacia: a thorned tree common in Africa
Learn More All About Secretary Birds
Watch this fun video about secretary birds:
A documentary video about a secretary bird hunting a snake.
Secretary Bird Q&A
Question: Do secretary birds make good pets?
Answer: They aren’t cuddly, but farmers sometimes tame them to kill snakes.
Question: Are secretary birds endangered?
Answer: Right now, secretary birds are not endangered.
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