The Story – A juvenile and female Bateleur
During a recent trip to the Kruger National Park SA Anne and I were very fortunate to come across a juvenile and fully grown female Bateleur. We were traveling with friends in two vehicles and I was lagging behind slightly, on rounding a bend we found their vehicle stationary and then noted the juvenile Bateleur on the gravel verge of the road.
The raptor was feeding on something which was not immediately recognisable but on closer inspection with binoculars I could see it was a Scrub Hare. We remain uncertain whether this was a kill initiated by the raptor or a roadkill, it was late morning and Scrub Hares being more nocturnal it would not have been in the road at the time. The other lingering question that remains is had it been a roadkill why would it only be found so late in the day? Whatever the circumstances a good meal was on the cards….
We remained so focused on the youngster that when mom arrived we were taken by surprise; we presume it must have been mom. Females are recognised by the larger white area on the underwing and showing a lighter window towards the wingtip of the perching bird.
At this stage each bird had their own piece of meat to concentrate on.
We then had a Hooded Vulture come in for an inspection and a little while later a White-backed Vulture made its appearance. The female Bateleur was having nothing of this, strutting her stuff with food in her mouth.
A second White-backed Vulture flew in, this scared the juvenile Bateleur, who flew off clutching a portion of its meal. The female Bateleur then decided to take her portion and fly off, leaving a few morsels for the White-backed vultures to scuffle over. During this whole interaction the Hooded Vulture remained at a distance and did not get involved.
Another excellent sighting and interactions from the Kruger National Park SA