Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus)

A very large, 28" (70cm) bird, the Bateleur has black plumage, with grey upper wing-coverts. Some Bateleurs have a chestnut back, while others are whitish. The tail is so short, that it appears to have no tail at all. Red faces and legs are identifiers for the Bateleur. Female Bateleurs have a large, grey band in the flight feathers and a broader black edge to the underneath of their wings, which are otherwise white.

The Bateleur is often alone and sometimes in pairs, gliding over open country, hunting.

The Bateleur does hunt small mammals, reptiles and birds, but is often seen eating carrion.

Bateleurs were once common, but are now a threatened species. Still seen in most parts of Kenya, mostly over dry bush.

Extra Facts
Bateleur is the French word for acrobat. The name was attributed to this bird, because of the way it tips its wings in flight, for balance, just like a tight-rope walker. Its call is an unmistakable "Yaaargh".

Photographed in Masai Mara & Olare Orok Conservancy.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bateleur, bateleur eagle, bird, kenya, wildlife

Bateleur ~ With Carrion

Male Bateleur, standing, eating carrion.

Bateleur ~ Perched

Bateleur, perched in a tree.

Bateleur ~ Stretching

A Bateleur, stretching its wing and leg, while perched high up.

Bateleur ~ Looking Sideways

A Bateleur, perched, side-on to the camera, but its eye is swivelled towards you.

Bateleur ~ Poised

A Bateleur, perched on an old Acacia tree, looking over its shoulder.

Bateleur ~ In Tree

A Bateleur, perched in a tree, side-on to the camera, displaying all its colours.

Bateleur ~ Calling

Bateleur, perched on a tree, calling for its mate, its beak wide open.

Bateleur ~ Juvenile, Perched

A juvenile Bateleur, perched in a tree, looking over its shoulder.

Bateleur ~ Juvenile About To Fly

A Bateleur, perched in a tree, with wings slightly spread, about to fly.

Bateleur ~ Juvenile, Balancing

Juvenile Bateleur, landing on a slim branch, with wings outstretched.

Bateleur ~ Surprising Vulture

Juvenile Bateleur landing on top of a tree, surprising a Ruppell's Vulture already perched there.