from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A large African bird of prey (Sagittarius serpentarius) with long legs, gray and black plumage, and a crest of quills at the back of the head.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A remarkable raptorial bird of Africa, with very long legs; the serpent-eater or crane-vulture.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A large
bird of prey, Sagittarius serpentarius, native to Africawith very long legs, so named because of its crest of long feathers resembling quill pens stuck behind the ears of an office clerk. It preys on reptiles, especially snakes.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun large long-legged African bird of prey that feeds on reptiles
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
[Probably so called after its crest of quills, which reminded 18th-century observers of legal secretaries who stuck their quills into their wigs when not writing with them.]
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