<< Previous Next >>

Juvenile and adult Bateleur

Juvenile and adult Bateleur
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-29
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Alfa dSLR A700, Sony 300mm F2.8 G, Digital RAW 200, bean bag
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Krugerpark October 2008
Date Submitted: 2009-03-09 5:13
Viewed: 3902
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
On the tarroad from lower sabie to Croc bridge we met this pair of Bateleur eagles,the brownish colored is a juvenile,the colored one is a not 100% fully grown adult (as it has as well still light colored wings),anyway its a bit more aged as the juvenile and I liked the pose how they were sitting on the dead tree,again the sky was greyish that day,but I hope you like this upload,tfw

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. The plumage of a one-year-old bateleur is a uniform dark brown. Around the third year, this plumage starts to turn into adult colors of black, white and grey. It can take an immature Bateleur up to 8 years to shed all their brown plumage and turn in to full adults

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. 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.

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. The bateleur is most commonly seen in rapid, direct flight which is its preferred method of hunting. Birds may cover 300 miles in up to an eight-hour-long daily searches for food. Due to the extensive area covered each day, the number of eagles in the wild is easily over-estimated in its native sub-Saharan region of Africa, but their numbers in parts of their range are declining.

The nuptial aerial display is spectacular, with steep dives by the male at the female. She will roll on her back, presenting her claws and then roll on over to right herself as he hurtles past. There may be follow-the-leader dipping and rolling flight, and there may be 360 degree lateral 'barrel' rolls, which is often accompanied by a very loud slapping of the wings together. This percussion can be heard by humans for some great distance. All of this may be accompanied by very loud crowing calls. Bateleurs often sun. They stand upright and hold their wings straight out to the sides and tipped vertically, a classic 'phoenix' pose, and they turn to follow the sun.

The bateleur ranges over most of Africa south of the Sahara Desert where there is no thick forest. It wants open land - grassland and acacia savannah. It is reduced or extinct in most of its southern African range

Where they are found
The Bateleur eagle is found throughout Africa south of the Sahara. It prefers tree and bush savanna.

Latin name
Terathopius ecaudatus.

rousettus, haraprasan, gannu has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hello Paul
Terathopius ecaudatus is a very beautiful raptor species. you nicely captured its juvenile and adult in a single frame. focus, POV, composition and colors very nice. thanks for sharing it with a good informative notes. best wishes

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-03-09 5:23]

Hallo Paul,
Een van mijn favoriete vogelsoorten. Ze staan er voor een roofvogel niet bepaald heldhaftig op. Goede natuurlijke kleuren, scherpte en een prachtige compositie. We hebben snel de neiging om steeds alles zo dichtbij mogelijk te halen, maar deze foto is het bewijs dat dit helemaal niet hoeft.

Hi Paul,
A nice capture of these both young and adult eagle. But I would have preferred a bit under exposed sky. Anyway I know everything is not always in our hands :). Very good sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2009-03-09 8:08]

Hoi Paul,
I did not remeber we have seen them together so great surprise.
It is a great catch.


hallo Paul
super koppel
scherp genomen
goede details en een perfecte compositie
great shot
groetjes lou

hello Paul
fantastic moment and very good pose,
the light is curious, but sure the moment is this measures,
very good photo
best regards

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2009-03-10 19:21]

Paul, WoW what a nice scene here. Two different birds and opposite to each other. The conversation seem to be the current economic slowdown. Well done Ganesh

Calibration Check