Sunday, April 8, 2012


Terathopius ecaudatus
The Bateleur is a medium-sized Eagle that can be found throughout the open Savannas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Its name actually comes from a French term for a tightrope walker or acrobat. It is a pretty accurate name when you think of the the aerial displays of these birds. During courtship they perform incredibly acrobatic flights, sometimes doing full somersaults!

This Eagle is the only species in its genus, but what a colorful species it is! Dark bodies with grey wings, chestnut coloration on the back, and bright red feet and beaks with just a splash of yellow. Males and females look alike, except for the fact that females have grey flight feathers, while the males have black.

Bateleurs hunt over huge areas of land. In a single day they can cover more than 200 miles! They hunt by flying around 150ft above the ground, and then sweeping down on their prey in a spiral motion. They eat all sorts of things, ranging from other birds, to small mammals, to even young Antelope. They also feed on carrion.

Though they have a very large range, Bateleurs are listed as Near Threatened due to habitat loss, pesticides, and hunting.

IUCN Status : Near Threatened
Location : Africa
Size : Body length up to 28in(71cm), Wingspan up to 6ft(1.8m)
Classification :Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Falconiformes
Family : Accipitridae -- Genus : Terathopius -- Species : T. ecaudatus

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