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.