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Secretary Bird

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:55 pm

Not the best picture, but Jan 2010 close to Letaba. I have also seen a pair between Olifants and Satara.

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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:57 am

Great sighting...According to SABAP2...there has been a substancial decrease in Seceretarybird numbers across the country, large decreases being in KNP. Quite a scary thought!
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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby Don Stewart » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:20 pm

Rusty Justy wrote:Great sighting...According to SABAP2...there has been a substancial decrease in Seceretarybird numbers across the country, large decreases being in KNP. Quite a scary thought!

Thanks RJ.Did SABAP2 give reasons for the decrease in numbers?
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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby WillBen » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:37 pm

The Secretary bird is probably my most favorite. I've only seen it twice in the KNP in the 15 years I've been going. The second time was on the 20th April 2010!

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It was overcast conditions, but we managed to catch him\her in a photo. This was taken near Satara.

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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:21 pm

The usual reasons, such as habitat destruction, over grazing etc etc...which is why its worrying to see such a massive decline in the largest protect area where these cant be factors........ :hmz:


The Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, published in 2000, states: "A survey is urgently needed to determine the current conservation status of the Secretarybird, particularly regarding its relative density inside and outside conservation areas." In 2000 the Secretarybird was classified as "Near-threatened." In SABAP1, the Secretarybird species text says: "It is sensitive to habitat degradation due to overgrazing, bush encroachment, disturbance and loss of habitat to afforestation and crop cultivation" and "Its conservation status provides cause for concern." A decade later the comparison map between SABAP1 and SABAP2 sends some serious red lights flashing for this charismatic species, one of the icons of Africa. The range change map is mostly RED (where the species seems to have gone missing) and ORANGE (where the species is apparently rarer). Particularly alarming is the RED and ORANGE in the Kruger National Park.
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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby Cherries » Thu May 06, 2010 9:10 pm

Just caught up with this thread. From a general sighting (or lack of) I had not seen Secretary Birds in the E Cape or F State for a very long time. So no sightings in Mountain Zebra or Addo or Golden Gate - 2008 to 2010. On visits to Kruger in 2008, 2009 and 2010 - not one bird. I have been making a special point of seeing this bird over the last few years and I have been very worried about the lack of sightings.

I have been travelling the EC roads JHB to GHT since 1996 and used to catch sight of these birds regularly.

On a quick visit to the E Cape two weeks ago I was lucky to spot a pair between Grahamstown and Nanaga (intersection for PE/GHT; Cradock and Port Alfred). That was so heartwarming but the plight of these special birds is of great concern.
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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Fri May 07, 2010 7:37 am

Found one last weekend in Pumba Game Reserve here in the Eastern Cape.......Only the second sighting for the general Grahamstown area in 1 and a half years..... :?
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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby o-dog » Fri May 07, 2010 1:23 pm

When I worked in the Sabi Sands in 2006 & 2007 we had 1 pair of Secretary birds that frequented the property. They would be absent for months and then common. I do have recollection of seeing 2 pairs in one day on the property.

As far as KNP sightings go it is a bird I see just about every time. Last time was Dec 09 and saw a pair between Satara and Tshokwane.

Satara area is good and most of my sightings of this bird are during the late morning and mid afternoon. That may explain why many people who aren't driving at these times, miss seeing this species. Its also a bird that I see often on the traditional day out to Pafuri from Shingwedzi. I often have sightings of these birds at waterholes such as Boyela when its 40 degrees and you are desperate to get back to camp!
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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Fri May 07, 2010 2:37 pm

Maybe they all moved to the Kgalagadi! :huh:

During our latest visit to the KTFP in March we saw on our first drive 1 bird, and the following day we had another pair (all close to TweeRiveren).
On our 2nd last day (North on the Aoubriver road) we saw 5 pairs together! That was quite a sighting, seeing 10 birds around one waterhole!

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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby michel367 » Fri May 07, 2010 2:50 pm

And no pictures with all 10 of them on it? :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Great picture Lizet. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby Bobbi Jane » Fri May 07, 2010 3:39 pm

Lizet - Yeah great picture (all your pics are great). SB with orange face? Is it a young bird? :hmz:
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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Fri May 07, 2010 4:15 pm

michel367 wrote:And no pictures with all 10 of them on it? :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Great picture Lizet. :thumbs_up:


Thanks, but unfortunately not! :( They where a bit far and scattered around - not a great shot...

Bobbi wrote:Lizet - Yeah great picture (all your pics are great). SB with orange face? Is it a young bird? :hmz:


Thanks. :thumbs_up: The adult's face can be from orange to red (not sure if it changes in breeding season?) and the younger birds more a dull yellow, so this will be an adult then...

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Re: Where are the secretary birds in the KNP?

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Sat May 08, 2010 6:17 pm

Great photograph! :clap: :thumbs_up:
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Re: Secretary Bird

Unread postby Crested Barbet » Mon May 31, 2010 10:51 pm

During our last holiday in KNP we watched a Secretary Bird in Flight! It was amazing to see the bird soaring to a great height.

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hylLjRFvI90[/video]
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Re: Secretary Bird

Unread postby Grantmissy » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:26 pm

We were fortunate to see two Secretary Birds on 7 May 2010 on the S143. They were about three meters away from our vehicle and we watched them for quite a while before they moved away out of sight. It was a very special sighting for us.
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