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Photo Information
Copyright: Mike Rolfe (fiftysomething) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 45 W: 3 N: 141] (657)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-01-05
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 30D, Canon EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM
Exposure: f/6.7, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-01-27 2:40
Viewed: 4510
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Bateleur Eagle
Terathopius ecaudatus

The Bateleur eagle is the most famous of the snake eagles. Bateleur is French for "tightrope-walker". This name was probably chosen because of its distinctive aerial acrobatics. Its pitch black feathers with white under the wings, bright red face and legs and black beak are characteristic markings. Unlike most creatures, female Bateleur eagles are larger than males.

Bateleur eagles spend 8-9 hours each day in the air looking for food. Their diet includes antelope, mice, birds, snakes, and carrion.

The Bateleur eagle is found throughout Africa south of the Sahara. It prefers tree and brush savanna.

Bateleur eagles pair for life and stay in the same nest for several years. Unpaired adults can sometimes be seen near a nest site. This bird is not rejected by the mating pair and does not help with nesting.

A female will lay single egg in a nest that sits in a large tree that offers protection. Mother incubates the egg while father collects food and sticks for the nest. Sometimes, however, the father incubates. After an incubation period of 52-59 days, the baby Bateleur eagle hatches. 110 days later, the hatchling will leave the nest, but will continue to receive food from its parents for another 100 days. Only 2% of chicks make it to adulthood.

The number of Bateleur sightings in the Kruger Park has most certainly decreased over the past few decades and these days a sighting is rather special.

ferranjlloret, robindb has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Mike,
Saw the bateleur one time in Kruger 2007 (20 days). But not so close.
A endemic bird in Kruger. A bit the king of birds in KNP. Very beautiful in flight as well.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-01-27 8:16]

Hello Mike,
Beautiful photo of one of my favourites. I've seen it on several occasions in Africa, but could never made a photo like this. Beautiful colours an a great composition.

Hello Mike,
A Excellent captur of this Bateleur Eagle, interesting note.
TFS and best regards. Ferran

Hi Mike,

Nice pose and detail on the bird in a natural surrounding. There are a number of these birds in the Satara area especially on the S100 road. I have seen 6 pairs there with young so the population there is a bit beter.
Your image may be a tad oversharpened giving a slight halo effect.


  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2009-01-28 7:36]

Hi Mike,

A nice capture of this bateleur,a very nice bird of prey with its typical red socks as we used to say when we spotted one,tfs


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