Journal Journeys: Hawk-Bird of the Ground

The secretary bird’s name has been a hot subject of debate for years now: some say it’s due to its black-and-white tail feathers which were used as quills by, possibly, secretaries, which, according to me, is a bit far off. The more likely theory is the Arabic word sakr-et-tari resulted in its name (oddly and quite inexplicably, it’s also known as a secretarybird), which means hawk-bird. What do you think? Or do you have some other theories about its name?

Monday, 21st of July, 2014

It walks with careful, mincing steps: every movement seems to have been debated extensively before being carried out. Its legs are long without being awkward or gangly, and indeed, the trousers it wears give the bird a distinctly humanoid feel. From its long tail- and crest-feathers to its striking black-and-white suit, it is immaculate and confident—hawk-bird of the ground, how could it not be?


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