The Bateleur Eagle is a medium-sized eagle. This is a common resident species of the open savanna country in Sub-Saharan Africa. It nests in trees, laying a single egg which is incubated by the female for 42 to 43 days, with a further 90 to 125 days until fledging.
Bateleurs pair for life, and will use the same nest for a number of years. Unpaired birds, presumably from a previous clutch, will sometimes help at the nest.
The Bateleur is a colourful species with a very short tail which makes it unmistakable in flight. The adult male is 75 cm long with a 175 cm wingspan. He has black plumage except for the chestnut mantle and tail, grey shoulders, and red facial skin, bill and legs.
The female is similar to the male except that she has grey rather than black secondary flight feathers. Immature birds are brown with white dappling and have greenish facial skin. It takes them seven or eight years to reach full maturity.
The eagle hunts over a territory of 250 square miles a day. The prey of this raptor is mostly birds, including pigeons and sandgrouse, and also small mammals; it also takes carrion.
''Bateleur'' is French for ''tight-rope walker''. This name describes the bird’s characteristic habit of tipping the ends of its wings when flying, as if catching its balance.
In some countries, outside of its natural distribution, the Bateleur is occasionally known as the Conifer Eagle OR Pine Eagle, since its feathers somewhat resemble a conifer cone when it fluffs itself up.