The Bateleur’s feet and facial color can vary from a pale color to brilliant red depending on the mood of the bird. Most juvenile eagles have longer tail and wing feathers than their parents. When the young Bateleur is first learning to fly, it needs the longer feathers for added lift and stability. Each year the feathers that grow in are shorter, until the bird reaches maturity, when it has the normal shorter wing and tail feathers of an adult.
The Bateleur eagle is a common resident species of the open savanna country in Sub-Saharan Africa, though it also occurs in south-west Arabia. Total distribution size is estimated at 28,000,000 km2. 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 will eat a variety of reptiles, mammals, and small birds, but the bulk of the Bateleur’s diet is carrion. They hunt using low sweeping flights about 150 feet off the ground, then spiral down onto their prey. This guy swooped down, grabbed its lunch, ripped it to pieces, and in seconds he was gone again. It was super thrilling to see this eagle in action!