What inspired the unusual common name, Secretarybird, (Afrikaans: Sekretarisvoël) for this bird?
Perhaps we will never know for certain.
It is regularly told in South Africa that the common name of the Secretarybird is due to the dark quill like feathers, resembling a quill pen behind the ear (apparently common practice for an 18th century secretary).
A more recent theory is that “secretary” is a French corruption of the Arabicsaqr-et-tair or “hunter-bird”. Inspiration or after the fact fit?
The Secretarybird (Afrikaans: Sekretarisvoël) has the longest legs of any raptor. It use these long legs to kill pray, including snakes. It’s got a cool “serpent hunter” sounding scientific name Sagittarius serpentarius.