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Secretary Bird Harasses Jackal

Secretary bird and jackal in a stand-off in the Kgalagadi

Not many people can say they have seen a secretary bird and jackal in a stand-off. This was the moment a secretary bird harasses a jackal, whilst both try to intimidate the other – but who is the actual aggressor?

Secretary Bird Harasses Jackal
Secretary bird in the Kgalagadi

This amazing sighting was tinged near the Kij Kij waterhole in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Steve and Bee tell about this unforgettable moment:

Secretary Bird Harasses Jackal
Jackal in the Kgalagadi

“We were driving back towards Twee Rivieren Rest camp. The car in front of us had stopped and we could see gemsbok (oryx antelope) and wildebeest lying down. As we drove closer we could see the jackal and the secretary bird standing facing each other. We stopped the car and I immediately started taking pictures.”

Secretarybird And Jackal Have a Dance-off
Secretary bird and Jackal dance-off in Kgalagadi

Secretary bird harassing jackal

“The jackal seemed to be attacking the bird at first. Lunging with its mouth open, not managing to land any bites though! It then became clear that the secretary bird was in fact the aggressor. The jackal was just defending itself.”

Secretary Bird Harasses Jackal
Secretary bird and jackal in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

“It wouldn’t let the jackal move in any direction, blocking every attempt the jackal made to move away. Circling around the jackal and jumping over it and kicking out at its back.”

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Secretarybird And Jackal Have a Dance-off
Secretary bird intimidating jackal in Kgalagadi

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“At one point the secretary bird landed a thumping blow to the jackal’s head. The jackal backed right down and managed to make his escape towards the back of our car. The secretary bird stood and watched. Seemingly satisfied with its victory. Turned and went back to foraging.”

Secretarybird And Jackal Have a Dance-off


“I felt nervous and did not want to see either badly hurt or killed, but at the same time, I couldn’t look away!”

“I have never seen anything like this and probably won’t again in my lifetime. It was our first trip to the Kgalagadi and it has been a magical experience. I can’t wait to come back!”

Secretary Bird Harasses Jackal
Jackal retreating from secretary bird

Check out our other blogs and videos on more incredible Secretary Bird, as well as Jackal moments, by following the links below:

Secretary bird shows off to world’s heaviest flying bird

2 Secretary birds attack hare

Jackal hunts marabou stork after swimming up to it

Leopard kills jackal

Written by admin

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