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Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos

Secretary Bird

White rhino with calf

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Although the Zoo and Safari Park are temporarily closed, our team of dedicated specialists continue to care for the animals and plants that depend on us each and every day.

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Secretary Bird

Standing over four feet tall, secretary birds cruise through Africa's tall grass on long legs while looking for a meal. They prefer savannas and open grasslands where they can see around them while strolling. But can they fly? Of course! Secretary birds are good fliers and nest and roost in acacia trees at night.

Secretary birds and caracaras are the only birds of prey that hunt for food on foot. They can catch and kill snakes, even venomous ones! These clever birds chase their prey and then strike it with their bill or stomp on it until the prey is dead or stunned enough for the bird to swallow. Secretary birds can't pick up food items with their feet, so food is either eaten right away or carried away in the beak.

Watch our secretary birds at work in the Park’s African Woods!

Free! Living Legends - San Diego Zoo 100. Help save wildlife in our newest puzzle game.