Posts Tagged ‘secretary birds’

 “The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life … the beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds – how many human aspirations are realised in their free, holiday lives – and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song.” – John Burroughs

They say ostriches stick their heads in the sand. Maybe so. But the ones we saw in the Serengeti preferred to stretched out their legs and run. It made for a glorious parade. -- Photo by Pat Bean

African Safari: Colorful Birds

Kori bustard -- Photo by Kim Perrin

The drive from Lake Manyara to the Serengeti was one of the most exciting bird-watching days in my life. I saw my first free roaming ostriches. Much bigger than I imagined, and boy could they run.

We passed a Kori bustard, which strutted across the grasslands like it owned them. We were close enough for Kim to even get a great photograph. This was a big bird, standing over three-feet tall.

There was this great big red-faced fellow, a lappet-faced vulture. he made ugly look beautiful, well at least to the addicted birder.

A flock of Ruppell's griffin vulture, with a lone lappet-faced vulture on the far left. -- Photo by Kim Perrin

A face only a mother could love, or not. -- Photo by Kim Perrin

And then there were the secretary birds,  so named because someone thought the stiff neck feathers looked like the quill pens secretaries used to stick behind their ears. it hunts its prey — small mammals, snakes, lizards, young birds, on the ground.

Secretary bird: Do you think this bird's neck feathers look like quill pens? -- Wikipedia photo

Like the bustard, the secretary bird we saw was strutting across the savannah as if it owned it.  

Next : the Serengeti’s Sopa Lodge

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