The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Bateleur

Afrikaans name: Berghaan

A pair in Kruger National 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 National 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.

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 54

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 10

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 59

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Published: 1984 - Page: 59

Vanishing Eagles - Author: Philip Burton - Published: 1987 - Page: 46

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Published: 1998 - Page: 54

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 88

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 92

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 140

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 153

Southern Africas Threatened Wildlife - Author: John Ledger - Published: 1990 - Page: 48

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 130

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 126

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 108

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 30

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 102

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 79

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 409

Know your Birds of Prey - Author: - Published: 0 - Page: 36

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 160

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 160

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 74

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 157

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 43

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 52

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 17

Eagle Days - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1973 - Page: 149

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Published: 1989 - Page: 351

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 54

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 66

Birds of Prey of the World - Author: Friedhelm Weick - Published: 1980 - Page: 80

Birds of Prey - A Kinship - Author: H. Von Michaelis - Published: 1987 - Page: 74

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1985 - Page: 129

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Published: 1999 - Page: 92

African Wildlife - Vol 40 No 6 - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 251

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 26

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 98

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 66

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 80

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 127

African Birds of Prey - Author: Leslie Brown - Published: 1970 - Page: 68

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 127

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 75

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