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Bateleur | Terathopius ecaudatus

The Bateleur is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.

The description for the Bateleur (Latin name Terathopius ecaudatus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Terathopius ecaudatus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 146 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 498. You will find a picture of the Bateleur on page 497.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Bateleur between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Bateleur is known in Afrikaans as Berghaan.

The Bateleur has a height of 70 cms and weighs around 2250 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured yellow. The Terathopius ecaudatus has a black coloured throat, red legs and a chestnut coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black

Eyes are brown

Bill is yellow

Legs are red

Throat is black

Back is chestnut

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This birds forages for fish and other aquatic dwellers through surface sizing and diving for food in the water.

This bird is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that?s when the prey comes out in the open.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Bateleur strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

This bird is a well known scavenger and rarely kills its own prey.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Bateleur uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Bateleur is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 eggs and they are coloured cream.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Bateleur is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Bateleur is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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