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Bateleur

Afrikaans name: Berghaan

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Juvenile Bateleur

Photo © Steven Herbert

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A pair in Kruger Park

Bateleur

Photo © Steven Herbert

Terathopius ecaudatus

Whether it is perched or in flight the Bateleur is one of the most distinctive birds of prey. Visitors to game reserves such as Kruger Park will be very familiar with them.

The Bateleur is found over most of the northern regions of South Africa. Its preferred habitats are savanna and bushveld.

One of the most distinctive features of these birds in flight is the way that they keep balancing left and right, very much in the way that a tight-rope walker does. The name "Bateleur" is actually the French word for a street performer. Bateleur has a wingspan of around 1.8 metres and they typically weigh just over 2 kg.

These raptors feed on a wide variety of small prey including mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs. They even been recorded catching fish in shallow waters.

Bateleurs may breed at any time of year. They only lay one egg and it is tended to by both parents.

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