My international readers may not be aware there are four main branches of the United States government: legislative, executive, judicial, and shadow. The secretary bird reports directly to the shadow president, the highest rank in the branch, which performs numerous less public tasks than its executive counterpart.** The secretary bird’s position is roughly parallel to the entirety of the Cabinet wrapped up in one feathered individual.
Over the years, it has accumulated secrets from numerous high-level officials, which it always keeps until the government officials in question are long dead. Everyone assumed that shadow president Jorge Washingtron had real steel teeth, but they were just cleverly painted wooden ones. Frank Sinatra mainly joined the Adjustment Bureau because he was deeply ashamed of his head tattoo of a map of Pangaea and wanted to wear the hat.
The Extra-Secret Service is there to make sure the secretary bird never has to worry about this. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The secretary bird (Yoky-Wikipedia)My late mother, Mary Doreen Shuker, was a short-hand typist and secretary throughout her working life, and I fondly recall how I used to joke affectionately with her that this made her a secretary bird - the name given to that elegant and endemic African bird of prey known scientifically as Sagittarius serpentarius.
The head of a secretary bird, showing its diagnostic crest (Kevin Law-Wikipedia)The product of this exercise in creature composition will probably be a surprisingly accurate reconstruction of a truly singular species of African bird, known scientifically as Sagittarius serpentarius - the secretary bird.Named after its manner of stalking on foot in long, measured strides like an archer preparing to shoot his arrows, and also after its passion for attacking and devouring serpents great and small, only one modern-day species of secretary bird is currently recognised.
Early colour engraving of a secretary bird from Dictionnaire Histoire Naturelle by Charles OrbignyThe largest bird of prey known to be native to the Philippines is a magnificent crested species called Pithecophaga jefferyi, the monkey-eating or Philippine eagle (traditionally thought to be closely related to the Amazonian harpy eagle, but now, following DNA comparisons, revealed to be akin to the snake eagles).

Colour engraving of a Philippine eagleIf this is so, it is an especially interesting and cryptozoologically significant case (albeit until my investigations of it a long-forgotten one), because at the time of Sonnerat's report Pithecophaga was still undiscovered by science. The bizarre-looking Secretary Bird (but it probably thinks we look bizarre) from Africa is a raptor, the only one with long legs and a Statue of Liberty hairdo. Agil o suficiente para desviar de botes de cobras com maestriapresas favoritas: lagartos, roedores e principalmente cobras incluindo as altamente venenosas como viboras e najasExperiencia em achar o ponto fraco de serpentes.
Even then, the secretary bird has only revealed these factoids to Illuminati Beat, the inner circle’s self-published ‘zine.
In something of an existential crisis, he voluntarily vacated his records from both positions upon realizing that he was a replicant with all the memories of the original Cheney. Although this is a very familiar species, much less familiar is that it has a cryptozoological counterpart, reported far from African shores - in the Philippines, no less.
Sonnerat's description (and inaccurate depiction) of his supposed Philippine secretary bird contained certain morphological characters that set it well apart from the bona fide African version, yet which recalled this very impressive Asian eagle.For example, Sonnerat recorded that the feathers constituting the lower portion of the Philippine secretary bird's crest were longer than those of its upper portion. The third, and by far the most unexpected, conversely, was based upon an illustrated description by French naturalist Pierre Sonnerat within his Voyage dans la Nouvelle-Guinee (1776) of an alleged variety of secretary bird existing very much further afield - in the Philippines!As there are certainly no secretary birds indigenous to these (or any other) southeast Asian islands, the least contentious answer to this zoogeographical riddle is that Sonnerat's description must have been founded upon specimens brought there by man, probably as exotic exhibits (though no evidence for any such introductions is currently known to me). This is the exact converse of the crest structure in Africa's Sagittarius, but is suggestive of Pithecophaga.
Ogilvie-Grant in 1896 did the existence of this spectacular species finally become known to the ornithological world.

These include diplomatic immunity, power over CIA, FBI, FDA, AARP and UCLA, a tunnel to Cuba, and a TV capable of airing PBS-Omega, the secret sub-channel within PBS, among other abilities which I wanted to tell you but was censored by [REDACTED]. Combined with these is a pair of extremely lengthy, black-pinioned wings attaining a span of 7 ft when fully extended, plus an elegant, elongated tail.
To my mind, however, there is another possible explanation - rather more remote, but much more interesting from the standpoint of ornithological discovery.
Similarly, whereas the central feathers are the longest ones in the tail of Sagittarius, Sonnerat claimed that the outermost feathers were the longest ones in the tail of its Philippine counterpart - a condition agreeing once again with that of Pithecophaga.From these and other correspondences, it is possible that Sonnerat's description of what we now know to be a non-existent Philippine secretary bird was inspired at least in part by vague, second-hand accounts of Pithecophaga, the Philippine eagle.
Lastly, added almost as an absurd afterthought (judging from its somewhat disorderly appearance), is a crest of drooping, black-tipped feathers that conjure up the incongruous image of a office scribe with an untidy sheaf of quill pens protruding from behind his ear! After all, as the secretary bird is partial not only to snakes but also to small birds, especially ground-dwelling types, its permanent presence on Martinique may well have endangered this island’s native avifauna - in turn affording another example of the disastrous events that can be set in motion when humankind attempts to meddle with an ecosystem's natural balance.
Eu acredito que pela experiencia em abater serpentes, esse Passaro ainda seja levemente favorito, mas com certeza seria um combate arriscado para ambos.

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