The Bateleur is an eagle of the family Accipitridae, this beautiful sub-adult was photographed by me recently at a water hole in Kruger National Park, South Africa. It is a common resident species of the open savanna country in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its diet is made of mice, birds, antelope, snakes, and carrion.
The Bateleur is probably the most well known of the snake eagles. Its black feathers with white under the wings, bright red face and legs and black beak are characteristic markings. Unknown to many including me is the fact that Females are larger than Males. Once paired Bateleurs remain paired for life and will usually use the same nest for many years.
The female usually lays one egg, the mother incubates, occasionally the father will incubate. Incubation is 50-60 days and 110 days later the hatchling is ready to leave the nest, unfortunately only a small percentage make it to adulthood.
The Bateleur is currently listed as Near Threatend on IUCN. It is classified as Near Threatened because it is suspected to have undergone a moderately rapid decline during the past three generations (41 years) mainly due to habitat loss and incidental poisoning and pollution, and is now approaching the threshold for classification as Vulnerable.
Mike Barth, a photographer from Manchester England, was based in Dubai in the UAE from 2004 to 2016. He has travelled regularly to Africa and Asia and has had the pleasure of birding in some wonderful locations. A passionate bird photographer he now offers tours for small groups, maximum of 6, photographers and offers photographic tours to several locations such as Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana. Please visit his site at https://www.mikebarthphotography.com for information, there you can also purchase prints in various formats.
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