Without a doubt, Batswana are very ticklish when it comes to secretary birds. In Botswana, the secretary bird can only be eaten by royalty and people of blue blood.
The secretary bird has an intimidating prowl. It can up and fly during the night while the rest of the world remains fast asleep. Secretary birds are slaughtered by traditional healers.
Some people believe that the secretary bird can be used as a cure for people who have marriage problems. Some also believe that if one carefully spoons out the right eye of the secretary bird without pricking, popping or piercing it, and then places it next to a woman while she is fast asleep; she will then tell you all her best kept secrets.
This is according to a certain Golden, who resides in Malatswae settlement and sells traditional medicine along the Serowe/Orapa highway.
The Basarwa of Malatswae believe that secretary birds are spirit mediums that carry messages from ancestral gods. They say that when a secretary bird calls, it means that the gods are unhappy. To appease the gods, the Basarwa would immediately perform rituals and sacrifice a traditional healer’s goat.
The mysteries of the secretary bird and the stories that have been peddled about it have helped to conserve these precious birds.
Before self inking pens were invented, writers, among them Shakespeare, used the secretary bird’s long tailed feathers as pens during the 17th century, hence the name.