The Daily Species #122:
Bateleur Eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus)
The Bateleur is a medium-sized eagle in the bird family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as buzzards, kites and harriers. It is the only member of the genus Terathopius and probably the origin of the “Zimbabwe bird”, national emblem of Zimbabwe. Global population is estimated at 10,000 - 100,000 individuals.
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 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.
The Bateleur is a colourful species with a very short tail (ecaudatus is Latin for tailless) which makes it unmistakable in flight. “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.