Secretary Birds Have More Luxurious Lashes Than Any Human We Know

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The lashes on secretary birds are fancier than those on any person we know.

The names of some birds are really funny. Yes, I know that the “white-browed tit-warbler” wasn’t named after what it sounds like it was, but that doesn’t change how funny it sounds now.

Most bird names have been around for a long time, long before they meant what they do now. That sometimes leads to a cheeky and funny name, and other times it fits the bird so well that it’s hard to believe the name has nothing to do with it.

You know right away why the bird in this picture is a Secretary Bird when I say that.

That bird looks a lot like Joan Holloway when she wears a red dress and a wig. She walks around the Mad Men set like she owns it.

Whether it’s right or wrong, this bird just screams “sexy receptionist.”

It even looks like they have eyebrows that women work hard to get.
However, these birds were found and named before the 20th century image of the hot secretary. In fact, it happened before women worked as secretaries at all.

Many people think that the name comes from the fact that the dark crown feathers look like the quills that ladies used to wear in their hair in the 1800s. It’s kind of like hiding a pen behind your ear in the old days.

Again, though, the name comes from before many of those writers, since the bird was first described and given a name in 1769.

The Dutch who lived in Africa called the birds “Sagittarius,” but the farmers there called them “Secretarius.” The second one stuck, and over time the name changed to secretary.

But don’t let the word’s cultural meanings cloud your judgment—these birds are pretty strong.

Their average height is almost four feet, and they eat meat, which they do mostly with their long legs.

These birds hunt through the grasses and stomp their food to death before eating it. Snakes and other small animals that live in the prairie grasses are what they eat most of the time, but people have seen them kill young cheetahs and gazelles as well.

Although they spend their days on the ground, secretary birds take to the trees for roosting at night and for nesting.

 

Secretary bird chicks fledge at about 12 weeks of age.

Chicks of the secretary bird fly away when they are about 12 weeks old.

Loss of habitat is a threat to them right now, but conservation efforts are being made to slow the number drop.

 

h/t: Scientific AmericanJournal of African Ornithology

 

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