They are found widely in Africa. These birds are so called because of they have black feathers on the back of their heads which resemble old fashioned office clerks in the 18th century who tucked pens in their wig.

1. They are relatives of hawks, having an eagle-like body and crane-like legs.

2. Their legs are protected by scales strong enough to protect the legs from snake bites.

3. They have a very impressive hunting skill. First, they use kicks to incapacitate their prey. Then they run in a zigzag manner, flapping their wings to confuse their prey (snakes, lizards, tortoises, insects, young birds, bird eggs)

4. The Secretary bird is the national emblem of Sudan as well as a prominent feature on the coats of arm of South Africa.

5. They reach a height of 1.3 – 1.4 m, weigh 3.3 kg and a wingspan of 2 m.

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6. They may live for as long as 20 years.

7. The females lay 2 – 3 oval, pale green eggs and incubate them for 45 – 50 days.

8. Parents feed their young with food already vomited (regurgitated food).

9. They build their nests at a height of 7m on Acacia trees

10. They make a croaking sound especially when displaying for a mate