Bateleur Facts

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.

A “pair” of immature Bateleur Eagles (Terathopius ecaudatus) spotted on Sibuya Game Reserve

The bateleur has exceptionally long wings and a short tail, so that its feet extend beyond the tail in flight. The bateleur’s brown eyes are surrounded by facial skin that is a strikingly bright red, and devoid of feathers. As if to give a sense of artistic balance, the legs are the same brilliant red as the face. The female’s upperwing-coverts are brown, while the secondary flight feathers are mainly grey.

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

A female will lay a single egg in a nest that sits in a large tree, which offers protection. Mother incubates the egg while father collects food and sticks for the nest. 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 Bateleur eagle is found throughout Africa south of the Sahara. It prefers tree and bush savanna.

Sibuya Game Reserve

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve

Sibuya offers team-building & conferencing programmes for companies or conference groups.

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