Spyker is key to knowing secretary bird

Staff Reporter

BirdLife SA, the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Birds of Prey Programme (EWT-BoPP), and Wits University have launched a satellite tracking project for one of SA’s most charismatic raptors, the secretary bird.

Ernst Retief, BirdLife SA conservation manager for Gauteng and North West, said the first tracking device had been fitted to a fledgling on Garingboom farm near Springfontein, Free State on March 22.

The fledgling, called Spyker, is sponsored by Radio OFM and its movements can be followed at / conservation/threatened-species/secretarybird

Dr Hanneline Smit, BirdLife SA conservation manager and Oppenheimer Fellow of Conservation, said: “Since fitting the device to Spyker, our knowledge on juvenile dispersal and behaviour has increased immensely.”

She asked farmers and birders to let BirdLife South Arica and the EWT identify breeding sites in the target areas.