secretary bird


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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 ?
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.