Friday, March 7, 2008

Education spotlight: Bateleur Eagle

Family Accipitridae, Terathopius ecaudatus

The bateleur eagle (bateleur comes from the French, meaning acrobat or tumbler) is an African eagle most famous for their tail, or lack thereof. With a tail only two inches long, they are capable of amazing stunts in flight, doing complete sideways barrel rolls. They are also known as the Snake eagle because they are one of the few predators of venomous snakes. They use their extensive plumage to "puff up" when striking a snake so that even if the snake bites, it only gets a mouthful of feathers. They stand 22 to 28 inches tall and have a 5 to 6 foot wingspan.

The video below is of Shadow, our bateleur eagle. Shadow was taken illegally from his home in Africa, confiscated by U.S. Customs, and given to the sanctuary. He now works as an education bird. Here you see him doing his display. He can be a bit territorial about his perch. He displays by puffing up very large, standing tall and then dipping his head to his toes. You can hear him call as he displays.

9 comments:

base said...

What a treat to spend the day with all those glorious birds! I hope to see you and all the feathered friends at the open House. Isn't Eagle Days approaching, too?

World Bird Sanctuary said...

Hi! It's great to meet another friend of the sanctuary. World Eagle Day is Sunday, March 16th this year. Hope to see you there!

molarbear's posts said...

hi, I am deponti-on-LJ and since you visited my blog, I decided to visit yours (I have already visited WBS!)...very nice posts and will be following them.

I was able to id birds such as the Superb Starling, the Bateleur Eagle, and so on, when we visited Tanzania, because of having seen them them in the St Louis Zoo! It was nice to see the barn owl (I have a family nesting in our apartment building in Bangalore) as part of your birdshow. Carry on with the good work!

molarbear's posts said...

We visited Alton to see the bald eagles the last time we visited St Louis (this time was Jan 2008, last time was Jan 2007)...think of me on Eagles Day!

World Bird Sanctuary said...

Thanks for checking us out!

We're getting revved up for World Eagle Day!

Owlman said...

I had the great privilige of seeing the Bateleur out in the wild (South Africa). They are awesome Eagles and so graceful/playful in flight! You guys do great work, keep it up!

spippin said...

Wow! I'm envious! Someday I plan on visiting South Africa. It is at the top of my list. I'd love to see them in the wild.

Thanks for looking and the words of encouragement!

Stephanie

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