Bateleur

(Terathopius ecaudatus)

Description

Length: 55-70 cm;
Wingspan 170-180 cm.
Sexes similar but the female is slightly larger than the male.

It is a medium-sized, stocky eagle with a large head and a very short tail. Adults have a bright red, bare face and red legs. The head and underparts are jet-black and the back and tail are chestnut (a rare morph with a cream-coloured back sometimes occurs). The shoulder is grey in the male and grey-brown in the female. When perched the flight feathers of the male are all-black whereas the female has a light grey panel in the wing. In flight the adult appears almost tail-less with the feet extending beyond the tail. The underwing is white with a broad black trailing edge in the male and a narrow edge in the female.

The juvenile bird is all-brown with a greenish wash to the face and white legs. Transition into full adult plumage takes 6-7 years while progressing through a series of moults, acquiring more adult plumage features with each moult.

Length: 55-70 cm;
Wingspan 170-180 cm.
Sexes similar but the female is slightly larger than the male.

It is a medium-sized, stocky eagle with a large head and a very short tail. Adults have a bright red, bare face and red legs. The head and underparts are jet-black and the back and tail are chestnut (a rare morph with a cream-coloured back sometimes occurs). The shoulder is grey in the male and grey-brown in the female. When perched the flight feathers of the male are all-black whereas the female has a light grey panel in the wing. In flight the adult appears almost tail-less with the feet extending beyond the tail. The underwing is white with a broad black trailing edge in the male and a narrow edge in the female.

The juvenile bird is all-brown with a greenish wash to the face and white legs. Transition into full adult plumage takes 6-7 years while progressing through a series of moults, acquiring more adult plumage features with each moult.

Status and Habitat

Common throughout Zambia in all but the most densely wooded areas.

Voice

A loud, harsh bark. The second call is that of a chick calling to parents perched on a nearby tree.

Breeding chart

Nov-Aug with a peak in Jan-Feb.

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December