Shadow – Bateleur Eagle
Received: January 18, 1987
Shadow arrived at the World Bird Sanctuary on January 18, 1987, as a young bird, from Florida. He was quick to learn the routine for birds in our education programs. Bateleur Eagles are very striking animals, and Shadow has become a great favorite with his audiences. Since he is an “exotic” species and not adapted to Missouri’s cold weather, he enjoys the comfort of a heat lamp during the winter.
Bateleur eagles are known for their spectacular courtship flights, the male often performing 360 degree rolls while the female flies on her back. Some African tribes revere this eagle. They believe that they will be victorious in battle if the eagle flies over the enemy! Even though it is fairly common throughout most of its range, it has become quite rare in the southern part of its range due to habitat loss and persecution by humans.
Species: Bateleur Eagle
Latin Name: Terathopius ecaudatus
Description: adult male’s head and neck black; back, upper-tail coverts and tail chestnut; median and lesser-wing coverts brown with whitish tips; greater coverts black; primaries black above, pure white below with a black tip; body below black, under-tail coverts chestnut; under-wing coverts white; bare skin of face, cere, and legs – bright red; eyes brown; very short tails and long wings; develop adult plumage at 5-6 years
Sex: female similar to male, but whole of upper-wing coverts brown with grey secondaries, with white on inner web; black tips on white underside of wing quills narrower than those of the male
Age: 20-25 years
Weight: 4-6.5 lbs.
Habitat: open woodlands and tree savannas
Range: throughout Africa south of the Sahara, occasionally wandering to South Arabia
Behavior: monogamous; build large stick nests in trees or on top of nests built by other birds; female lays 1 egg; incubation is 52-59 days; young fledges in 3-4 months, but may spend up to 4 more months with parents; best known for their spectacular aerial displays
Diet: mainly carrion; also reptiles, mammals and small birds
Vocalization: generally silent, but capable of making loud screams
- The Bateleur’s feet and facial color can vary from a pale color to brilliant red, depending on the mood of the bird
- Native name for this bird is Chapungu. They believe it is good luck if the bird flies over their house or village