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The average adult is 55 to 70 cm (22 to 28 in) long with a 186 cm (6 ft 1 in) wingspan. The wing chord averages approximately 51 cm (20 in). Adult weight is typically 2 to 2.6 kg (4 lb 7 oz to 5 lb 12 oz). The Bateleur is a colourful species with a very short tail (ecaudatus is Latin for tailless) which, together with its white underwing coverts, makes it unmistakable in flight. The tail is so small the bird's legs protrude slightly beyond the tail during flight. The Bateleur is sexually dimorphic; both adults have black plumage, a chestnut mantle and tail, grey shoulders, tawny wing coverts, and red facial skin, bill and legs. The female additionally has tawny secondary wing feathers. Less commonly, the mantle may be white. Immature birds are brown with white dappling and have greenish facial skin. It takes them seven or eight years to reach full maturity.
The Bateleur eagle is a common to fairly common resident of the open savanna country and woodland (thornveld) within Sub-Saharan Africa; it also occurs in south-west Arabia. Total distribution size is estimated at 28,000,000 km2. The bird's range has diminished significantly in recent decades, possibly due to poisoning.
Spotted on May 27, 2013
Submitted on Apr 21, 2014