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secretary bird

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noun

a large, long-legged, raptorial bird, Sagittarius serpentarius, of Africa, that feeds on reptiles.

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Origin of secretary bird

1790–1800; <French secrétaire, perhaps by folk etymology <Sudanese Arabic ṣagr al-ṭēr, equivalent to ṣagr hawk + al the + ṭēr birds (collective)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for secretary bird

secretary bird

noun

a large African long-legged diurnal bird of prey, Sagittarius serpentarius, having a crest and tail of long feathers and feeding chiefly on snakes: family Sagittariidae, order Falconiformes (hawks, falcons, etc)

Word Origin for secretary bird

C18: so called because its crest resembles a group of quill pens stuck behind the ear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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