The secretary bird is quite difficult to confuse with any other bird in Africa. Her grace and businesslike gait can be the envy of many. In addition, the bird became famous as a merciless snake destroyer.
The secretary bird is the pearl of the African continent. A furious and fighting pearl, whose place is in Australia, among poisonous creatures. Because the bird will even unwind them with the blows of its clawed paws!
No matter how you look at it, the bird is just a piece of candy. Any business woman can envy her style. Gray top, black bottom and clever accent in the form of accessories: black feathers in the hair and orange eye shadow. Her legs grow from her ears, and her ears are 1.5 meters above the ground. This is perhaps the tallest land bird of prey today.
And from her height, she can clearly see all the potential victims. The standard snack for birds consists of lizards, frogs and lingering birds. But birds are especially fond of poisonous snakes. Do you know what's most interesting? They have no immunity to poisons. The secretary bird relies only on speed, agility and wings, which it uses as a shield. Seeing a snake, the bird rushes towards it and begins to dance a deadly dance. She furiously flaps her wings, runs in zigzags and attacks with dozens of false attacks, while repelling all the snakes' counterattacks.
If the snake manages to make a venomous lunge, it will hit the bird's rough protective feathers. The secretary reacts quickly and quickly puts up shield wings during a reptile attack.
Sooner or later the reptile will give in: it will either try to crawl away or lose concentration. But it is impossible to escape from the secretary. The bird accelerates to 30 km/h. Therefore, the result is always the same: the predator breaks the skull of the poisonous lace in several blows of its clawed paw.
Its attacks are impeccably accurate, and the force of its blows approaches 20 kg - 5 times the mass of the bird itself! This is enough to successfully attack not only snakes, but also mongooses, young gazelles and cheetah kittens. At the same time, the animal is not particularly afraid of revenge. She not only runs fast, but also flies decently.
The only reason secretary birds have not become apex predators in the savannahs of the sub-Saharan Africa is that they are not very social. Each warrior maintains his own section of the steppe and does not welcome the penetration of strangers. He tolerates other fighters on his territory only in exceptional cases. For example, when the migration route of fire-burning rodents passes through it. In such cases, up to 50 birds can gather in one place.
But even convinced loners understand that next to a fighting friend, their chances of successful survival will increase many times over. But it’s not easy to earn a lady’s loyalty. To do this, you will have to show yourself both in flight and in a ritual dance. If the female appreciates your strength, grace and endurance, then you will be together until death do you part. And secretary birds live up to 15 years!
However, the female also needs to match the skills of the male.
Of course, a fighting friend is needed not only for the joint defense of territory and food, but also for the production of fighting children. Every year, usually closer to the rainy season, a couple makes a hefty nest in the crown of a spreading tree and lays 1 to 3 eggs there. After 45 days, long-legged, fluffy chicks are born.
The diameter of the bird's nest is up to 1.5 meters.
By week 8, the secretaries will have left the nest. The explorer's instinct will ignite in them! Fortunately, the surrounding area is rich in educational targets for hunting: mice, beetles and wasps. And by the 85th day they will finally grow up and leave their parental property.
Open your mouth, now mom will vomit a lizard for you.
A teenage secretary in the wild.
On average, you live up to this pointthere is only one chick from the clutch. Ground predators, eagles and owls do not sleep. And the secretaries themselves do not stand on ceremony with their brothers and sisters. The weakest chick from the clutch will become lunch for the stronger babies. With such a gloomy childhood, it’s no wonder that mature birds become harsh snake eaters!