A new addition to the centre for July 2008 was a female Bateleur - "Nugget". She is used for our Experience Days and is part of our external events display team.
Juvenile Bateleurs are generally brown all over, but as adults they are the most colourful eagles. The cere (fleshy part above the beak) and around the eyes are red, as are their feet and legs. They generally reach full adult plumage at around 8 years of age. The females have a distinctive silver-white stripe on their wings, which the males lack.
Along with Nugget we have a male ("Dave") who is also part of our Experience Days and display team, though Dave is a very laid back bird who has worked out that it is much easier to walk than it is to fly!
The name 'Bateleur' comes from the french word for acrobat or gymnast, because they rock their wings from side to side while gliding, as if they are doing a balancing act.
Origin: Africa: most of sub-Saharan Africa, except in the heavily forested regions.
Diet: Very varied, both live and dead: mostly kills mammals and birds, some reptiles; also takes carrion, insects (termites to locusts), occasionally birds' eggs and crabs. Considerable range of foods varies greatly in size up to a dikdik (small antelope weighing upto 4 kg). Takes lizards and some snakes but, unlike typical snake-eagles does not specialise in snakes or even reptiles in general and these form only a small precentage of prey taken.
Habitat: Mainly open country from grassland to savannah and subdesert thornbush, but also woodland. Not forest or wetland but may be seen over these areas on longer foraging journeys.
EGGS IN CLUTCH: 1
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