It is a large bird of prey in the order Falconiformes, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kitess, buzzards, vultures, and harrierss, but it is so distinctive that it is given its own family.
It looks like an eagle, with a hooked bill, but has rounded wings and, in particular, very long legs, more like a heron. It gets its English name from a crest of long feathers reminiscent of the old quill pens which a secretary in earlier days would have used.
The Secretary Bird is found in open grassy country in Africa south of the Sahara. It is largely terrestrial, and hunts its prey on foot. It eats small mammals and birds, snakes, insects, and eggs. It nests in a tree, laying two or three eggs.