secretary bird

noun

Definition of secretary bird

: a large long-legged bird of prey (Sagittarius serpentarius of the family Sagittariidae) of sub-Saharan Africa that feeds largely on reptiles

Illustration of secretary bird

Illustration of secretary bird

Examples of secretary bird in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The presence of humans—mainly herders—is known to interfere with secretary bird breeding. National Geographic, 26 June 2020 While their signature feather crown and slender legs give these birds a regal air, the secretary bird is more mobster than monarch. Michael Cross; Story By Tom Page, CNN, 9 July 2020 The secretary bird is distinguished by its long legs and a dramatic black crest of feathers on the back of its head. National Geographic, 26 June 2020 The secretary bird is the tallest bird of prey in the world. National Geographic, 26 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'secretary bird.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of secretary bird

1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for secretary bird

probably from the resemblance of its crest to a bunch of quill pens stuck behind the ear

Learn More About secretary bird

Time Traveler for secretary bird

Time Traveler

The first known use of secretary bird was in 1824

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near secretary bird

secretary at war

secretary bird

secretary-general

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for secretary bird

Cite this Entry

“Secretary bird.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/secretary%20bird. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on secretary bird

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about secretary bird

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!