They nest on top of a tree. You could see a Secretarybird ‘greet’ its mate when it returns to the nest, through an up-down bowing display.
These powerful birds will open their wings above their back while on the ground. And they will jump on the intruder and strike downwards with their feet, delivering blows up to five times their own body weight, if they overtake the intruder.
The female will now lay between one and two eggs (usually one) – and they will incubate the eggs for between 40 and 46 days.
Chicks are usually a greyish-white colour when they hatch – and will over the next 76 days develop their characteristic colours and become fully feathered.
They can feed themselves by six weeks. But only after 105 days do they start hunting for themselves (although still relying a little on their parents for food). By 130 days, they are fully grown – and ready to continue the cycle.
Secretarybird numbers are declining across South Africa (and other African countries). And it’s all at the hands of human activities. Intensive crop farming, overgrazing, growing urban settlements, collisions with fence lines or powerlines, as well as the rapid growth of invasive alien plants are all creating a dismal picture for this species.
In the Overberg, we offer habitat that suits the Secretarybird well. But we must protect this habitat. That’s why the OCG partners with many conservation ventures that are actively looking at protecting our habitat, such as the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area, the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust, the Grootbos Foundation, Fynbos Trust, and many more organisations.
Article Source: Overberg Crane Group