Sunday, December 26, 2010


The bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus)is a type of bird of prey found in Africa. It is from the order Falconiformes.  It is the only member of from the genus Terathopius.  It is the the national emblem of Zimbabwe.

Physical Features                                                                    
Immature bateleur
The bateleur is like a medium sized eagle, measuring 61 cm (24 inches) with a wingspan of about 6.1 feet.  They weigh about 3 kilograms.  It has a short tail and a featherless scarlet skin on its legs and face.  They have a chestnut-like black plumage.  Males gray wings with black flight feathers while females have white and black flight feathers.  Young bateleurs have bluish-green faces and after few years they get an orange face and legs.  In places away from Africa, these birds are known as 'Conifer eagle' or the 'Pine eagle' as its feathers somewhat resemble a conifer cone when it fluffs itself up.

Bateleurs can eat mammals about the size of a baby antelope.  They may even eat birds like ground birds and reptiles like snakes and lizards.  Sometimes, they eat dead meat if available.  Bateleurs hunt alone in the air but sometimes, large numbers may eat together.

Distribution and Habitat
Bateleurs line in open woodland and savannas.  The bateleur is found in much of Africa.  It is mainly found in places south of Sahara desert.  Its distribution ranges extends to northern Namibia and South Africa but is not found in dense forests of places around the equator.

Life Cycle
Bateleurs build stick nests on big trees and generally one egg is produced by the female.  Bateleurs build their nests near rivers.  The eggs incubate for about 59 days and the young fledge after 100 days.

Conservation Status
Bateleurs are not endangered, but they are decreasing in numbers especially in the south.  This is because of habitat loss and hunting.

Source of picture 1:
Source of picture 2:

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