The Bateleur is a large eagle that inhabits
the tree and bush savanna
throughout Africa south of the Sahara and eastward into Arabia.
It may be considered one of the best known of the African raptors
and one of the most beautiful. Its name is a French word describing
a tightrope walker with a balancing pole.
The Bateleur is an excellent flyer, spending
long hours in flight using the warm air currents to soar, sometimes
covering up to 200 miles in its search for prey. During courtship
it displays amazing and daring turns and somersaults in the air.
It has a very short tail and the wings are long and pointed.
The head, neck, underparts and wings are black, and the back
is a red-brown. The legs are short and bright red.
The Bateleur is generally silent but capable
of making loud screams when excited.
Bateleurs feed on carrion and live animals
that are as large as small antelopes. It also takes birds and
reptiles including the large monitor lizards.
These eagles build their nests in high
trees, the clutch consisting of just one egg.