Bateleur Eagle

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.

Food

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

Habitat

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

Social Structure

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.

Birth & Offspring

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.

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