Home LIFE A Colorful Eagle With An Uncertain Future – The Bateleur Eagle

A Colorful Eagle With An Uncertain Future – The Bateleur Eagle

Bateleur eagles are majestic birds. Despite their medium size, their wingspans stretch up to six feet long. Endemic to Africa and parts of the Arabian Peninsula, these avians have bright red faces and feet, with brown and black patterned feathers.

image/text credit: Great Big Story 

Bateleurs are carrion eaters, and will show up with vultures to eat dead carcasses. Unfortunately, a shrinking habitat has caused a major drop in its global population.Unlike most creatures, female Bateleur eagles are larger than males.The plumage of a one-year-old bateleur is a uniform dark brown.

Around the third year, this plumage starts to turn into adult colors of black, white and grey. It is the only member of the genus Terathopius and may be the origin of the “Zimbabwe Bird”, national emblem of Zimbabwe.It is endemic to Africa and small parts of Arabia. “Bateleur” is French for “Street Performer”.


In Africa, Bateleurs are called ‘the flying wings’ because of their very short tail & also ‘tumbler in the sky’ due to their aerial acrobatics. They take seven years to mature & gain their striking colours. Immature birds are a dull brown.The word ‘Bateleur’ from Bateleur Eagle means balancer. This describes the wobbling manoever to slow down the bird by the wings.