|A wild secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) in the Serengeti.|
|A captive secretary bird|
Since these birds are raptors, they eat meat. The will eat just about anything they can find, though their diet is mostly small species such as insects, other arthropods, and mammals. Secretary birds are also known for killing and eating very dangerous snakes such as cobras and mambas. Their methods for doing so are fascinating to watch since they will actually kick them to death! This stomping action is actually an important aspect of their hunting, being used to either flush out prey and/or to kill it.
Here is footage of one of these fascinating creatures killing a snake.
This species is currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. Major threats including disturbing habitat, capture for trade purposes, and hunting. Secretary bird numbers are currently decreasing.
References are Animal Diversity Web and IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Images are from Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licenses: one, two.