Kruger National Park – Bateleur Sighting


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.


Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) – Kruger National Park SA – Juvenile

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….


Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) – Kruger National Park SA – Juvenile

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.


Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) – Kruger National Park SA – Female

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.


Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) Kruger National Park SA – Female

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