Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Near Threatened

Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus)


French: Bateleur des savanes German: Gaukler Spanish: Águila volatinera

Falco ecaudatus


, 1800,

Knysna district, Western Cape, South Africa




S Mauritania and Senegambia E to Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia, then S (outside main forested regions) to Namibia and South Africa; also SW Arabia, where presumably bred at least formerly.

Descriptive notes

55–70 cm; 1820–2950 g; wingspan 168–190 cm. Very short tail and long primaries distinctive, especially in low rocking flight with upturned wingtips. In male... read more


Generally silent, except during courtship and when anxious or in aggression. Commonest calls, given... read more


Open woodland and tree savanna, extending into bush savanna but less into scrubby steppe and... read more

Food and feeding

Various small animals, taken live or as carrion, at which it is often one of the first scavengers to arrive, and regularly patrols roads in... read more


Laying Sept–Dec in W Africa; breeds in all months in E Africa (peak Feb–Mar, but Jul–Dec in Somalia, Aug–Dec in... read more


Adult pairs territorial and resident in most areas. Juveniles excluded by adults, becoming highly... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Has extensive range, within which thought to have suffered moderately rapid declines since 1970s; possibly... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C., Kirwan, G.M. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).