The Bateleur is a very distinctive eagle, with red facial skin, grey shoulder patches and long wings that extend past the short tail. In flight the black trailing edge to the white under-wing is considerably broader for the male than for the female. The acrobatic flight pattern is diagnostic. It is regarded as a “bird of concern” status in Botswana.


The bird is generally silent but does give a guttural kow-aw on occasion.

Behaviour and habitat

It is seen in open and closed woodland and in semi-arid regions, but seldom in mountainous regions. Its food consists of small mammals, birds and reptiles. It also scavenges carrion. Its nest is a stick platform placed below the canopy in a large tree.