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Bateleur eagle flying west | by hawkgenes
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Bateleur eagle flying west

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 the the best known of the African raptors and one of the most beautiful. Its name is a French word describing a tighrope 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 , and underparts and wings are black and the back is 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.

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Taken on August 3, 2009