secretary bird


Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

secretary bird

n.
A large African bird of prey (Sagittarius serpentarius) with long legs, gray and black plumage, and a crest of quills at the back of the head.

[Probably so called after its crest of quills, which reminded 18th-century observers of legal secretaries who stuck their quills into their wigs when not writing with them.]

secretary bird

n
(Animals) a large African long-legged diurnal bird of prey, Sagittarius serpentarius, having a crest and tail of long feathers and feeding chiefly on snakes: family Sagittariidae, order Falconiformes (hawks, falcons, etc)
[C18: so called because its crest resembles a group of quill pens stuck behind the ear]

sec′retary bird`


n.
a large, long-legged bird of prey, Sagittarius serpentarius, of Africa, that feeds on reptiles.
[1790–1800; < French secrétaire, perhaps by folk etym. < Sudanese Arabic ṣagr al-ṭēr]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.secretary bird - large long-legged African bird of prey that feeds on reptilessecretary bird - large long-legged African bird of prey that feeds on reptiles
bird of prey, raptor, raptorial bird - any of numerous carnivorous birds that hunt and kill other animals
genus Sagittarius, Sagittarius - type genus of the Sagittariidae
Translations
References in periodicals archive ?
Abstract: A 24-year-old female secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) was presented with acute, mild dyspnea occurring only during feeding times.
The three-year-old Secretary bird, an African species known for its crane-like shape, had her left leg amputated when a break left the nerves badly in her limb badly damaged, according to workers at the Walsrode bird sanctuary.
Habitat loss and power line collisions are taking a toll on the Secretary Bird, distinctive for its long legs, crest feathers and orange skin on its face, according to BirdLife South Africa.
On this mission, Steve also goes in search of the fastest animal on land and uses some of the latest camera technology on three of Africa's deadliest snakes before being charmed by the astonishing snake-stomping secretary bird.
The lazy secretary birds I SHOULD like to express my complete agreement with Mr John W Hendry's sentiments about the 'time-wasting secretary bird' and staff agencies that charge extortionate rates for mediocre full-time staff.
Oh, Sinbad sailed the Seven Seas / In a gold galleon on a gentle breeze / He left early one morning without saying a word / With his telescope and his secretary bird / Listen if you want to know what Sinbad saw / As he sailed the seas from shore to shore // He saw / 7 frogmen / 14 mermaids preen / 21 flying fish run / 28 penguins skate // He saw / 35 submarines dive / 42 whales turn blue // 49 pelicans dine / 56 dragon chicks // He saw / 63 sailors see / 70 pirates flee // 77motors revin' / 84 oysters snore // Oh Sinbad sailed from / Shore to shore / From shore to shore / Until there wasn't any more.
His later stage roles included "My Cousin Rachel," "The Secretary Bird," "Private Lives" and "The Boy Friend.
Be warned though, if, like me, you've sat through the original stage recording almost every day for the past three years, don't find yourself wondering how come they've cut Rowan Atkinson's secretary bird singing The Morning Report.