The secretarybird or secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is a large, mostly terrestrial bird of prey. Endemic to Africa, it is usually found in the open grasslands and savanna of the sub-Saharan region. John Frederick Miller described the species in 1779. Although a member of the order Accipitriformes, which also includes many other diurnal birds of prey such as kites, hawks, vultures, and harriers, it is placed in its own family, Sagittariidae.
The secretarybird is instantly recognizable as a very large bird with an eagle-like body on crane-like legs that give the bird a height of as much as 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in). The sexes are similar in appearance. Adults have a featherless red-orange face and predominantly grey plumage, with a flattened dark crest and black flight feathers and thighs. It also has very long eyelashes.
Breeding can take place at any time of year, but tends to be late in the dry season. The nest is built at the top of a thorny tree, and a clutch of one to three eggs is laid. In years with plentiful food all three young can survive to fledgling. The secretarybird hunts and catches prey on the ground, often stomping on victims to kill them. Insects and small vertebrates make up its diet.