This is our last article on Secretary Bird. We have been covering specific information about the bird in each of our previous articles. This article on Secretary Bird general facts is not going to be any different. Today we will discuss about the bird’d life cycle, its lifespan and its methods of communication. We will, also jot down a few fun facts about Secretary Bird and of course, talk about its conservation status. Let’s start…
Secretary Bird General Facts: 1-5 | Life Cycle and Lifespan
1. Secretary Birds mate round the year with peak season appears between August and March. Post mating, the female Secretarybird will lay 1-3 eggs within a span of 2-3 days.
2. It has been observed that the third eggs generally remains unfertilized. The eggs are oval in shape and have a pale-green color.
3. Both parents are involved in incubation that lasts for around 42 to 46 days. After this, the chicks are born.
4. Chicks take around 6 weeks to stand on their own. The feathers start appearing by 7th week. Though the chicks are capable of feeding on their own by day 40, the parent birds still keep feeding them.
5. Both parents are responsible for feeding the chicks. The chicks are known for flapping their wings by day 60 and within next 5 to 15 days (that is, day 65 to day 80), the chicks are very much capable of fledging.
Secretary Bird General Facts: 6-10 | Life Cycle and Lifespan
6. Once the chicks learn to get out of their nests, the parents embark on a mission of teach their chicks to hunt.
7. The chicks will be allowed to stay and linger around in the territory of the parents for some time before they become self-sufficient.
8. Once the babies are self-sufficient, they will move out of their parents’ territory and go somewhere else to build their own territory. They will find suitable mates for themselves.
9. In the wild, the Secretary Bird can live anywhere between 10 and 15 years.
10. In captivity, the Secretary Bird can live for a longer period, which can be as long as 19 years to 20 years.
Secretary Bird General Facts: 11-15 | Communication Between Secretary Birds
11. For most part of the day, the Secretary Birds prefer to stay silent. However, they do make sounds. They make use of a croaking wail for calling.
12. The croaking wail is long enough to be heard from long distances. The same croaking sound is also made during courtship before mating.
13. However, sounds made during courtship also include a different type of sound, which is often described as a long-drawn growling sound.
14. While feeding the chicks, the Secretary Birds are known for using the same growling sound but at a much softer tone.
15. These birds are also known for occasional whistling.
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Secretary Bird Fun Facts: 16-20
16. South Africa and Sudan are the two countries which have Secretary Bird on the coat-of-arms.
17. Scientists are closely studying the hunting style of the bird because it has helped scientists understand how the prehistoric Terror Birds used to hunt some 3 million years ago.
18. Secretary Birds do eat snakes – poisonous ones but snakes don’t frequently make it on diet list of these birds as previously thought.
19. Africans have actually, for long, admired the Secretary Bird because of their ability to control pests and snakes.
20. IUCN has marked Secretary Bird as Vulnerable because they are increasingly coming under threat by loss of habitat because of increased human encroachment.
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Featured Image (Right Side): By Keven Law from Los Angeles, USA – http://www.flickr.com/photos/66164549@N00/2288447965, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link