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
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