Bateleur Eagle
Name: Bateleur Eagle
Scientific name: Terathopius ecaudatus
Range:  Bateleur eagles may be found in Africa south of the Sahara  Desert, living on Mount Kenya and Mount Killmanjaro.
Habitat:  Bateleur eagles can be found in the open lands and brush savanna of Africa.
Status:  Common
Diet in the wild: Carrion (dead animals), young hares, hedgehogs, mice, rats, reptiles, and squirrels.
Diet in the zoo: bird of prey diet
Location in the zoo: Raptor Canyon
Physical description: 
  • Wingspan about five feet. 
  • Body length of 21 - 27 inches. 
  • Color: Their youth are rich brown with golden edges around feathers. The adult Bateleur displays a black belly, head, neck, and wings, while their backs are red-brown. The adults legs are bright red. 
  • Feathers  extend down to the toes.
  • Eyes and tip of the beak are black.
  • Males are often smaller than the females.
General information:

          Bateleur eagles pair for life, using the same nest and trees for several years. They lay one egg that has an incubation period of 52 -59 days. While the male Bateleur helps with incubation and feeding, it has been reported that only 2% of the chicks will make it to adulthood. Of those that make it to adulthood, they may live another 20-25 years.

Special anatomical, physiological
or behavioral adaptations:

Since the Bateleur has a short tail, it rocks back and forth as a means of steering. From the seeming balancing act of its flying, the Bateleur gets its name from the French word meaning "tightrope-walker." 

Comments about the Bateleur eagle in the Fort Worth Zoo:

Bateleur in Juvenile Plumage
The Fort Worth Zoo now has two Bateleur eagles, one still in juvenile plumage, as you see in the bird on the left, and one with adult plumage, seen in the bird on the right.
Bateleur in Adult Plumage
Fort Worth Zoo - Bateleur Eagle (4/20/02) Personal Observations:

 The Bateleur eagle of the Fort Worth Zoo likes to perch in the shade, watching all of the people walk beneath it. Instead of perching on a tree, it chose to perch on the fence that covered the walkway through Raptor Canyon. At times, it seemed as though the Bateleur eagle was communicating with the Harpy eagle that is located directly across the walkway.

Source Materials and Related Links:
Page author:  Raun Shephard

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