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Sagittarius serpentarius (The Secretarybird or Secretary Bird)
The Secretary Bird is instantly recognizable as having an eagle-like body on crane-like legs which increases the bird’s height to as much as 1.3 m (4 ft) tall. This bird has an eagle-like head with a hooked bill, but has rounded wings. Body weight can range from 2.3 to 4.5 kg (5.1 to 9.9 lb) and height is 90–130 cm (35–51 in). Total length from 112 to 152 cm (44 to 60 in) and the wingspan is 191–220 cm (75–87 in).
Secretary Birds are endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa and are non-migratory, though they may follow food sources. Their range extends from Senegal to Somalia and south to the Cape of Good Hope. These birds are also found at a variety of elevations, from the coastal plains to the highlands. Secretary Birds prefer open grasslands and savannas rather than forests and dense shrubbery which may impede their cursorial existence. While the birds roost on the local Acacia trees at night, they spend much of the day on the ground, returning to roosting sites just before dark.
Spotted at Rietvlei. Rietvlei is situated 25 kilometres from OR Tambo International Airport between Kempton Park and Johannesburg. The nature reserve is 3800 ha and includes Rhino, hippo, cheetah and Lion. The lions are the only animals that are not free roaming.