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Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) Fact Sheet: Diet & Feeding

Terathopius ecaudatus, Bateleur


Hunt and scavenge (from Steyn 1980)

  • Diverse animal diet
  • Mainly eat birds and mammals
    • Also consume reptiles, fish, and eggs of other birds

List of prey species (from Steyn 1980 unless otherwise noted)

  • Mammal prey and carrion
    • Red rock, spring, and scrub hares
      • Among the most common prey in Zimbabwe
    • Bush squirrel
    • Mice and rats, including the greater cane rat
    • Porcupine
    • Hedgehog
    • Wild cat
    • Blackbacked jackal
    • Striped polecat
    • Mongoose
    • Duiker
    • Steenbok
    • Dik dik (Smeenk 1974)
      • Among the most common prey in Kenya
  • Avian prey and carrion
    • Black-shouldered Kite
    • Coqui, Shelly’s, Natal, and Swainson’s francolins
    • Crowned Guineafowl
    • Crowned and Blacksmith plovers
    • Doves, including the Cape Turtle, Laughing, Emerald-spotted Wood doves, and domestic pigeon
    • Grey Loerie
    • Spotted Eagle
    • Nightjars, including the Rufous-cheeked, Freckled, and Mozambique nightjars
    • Lilac-breasted Roller
    • African hoopoe
    • Yellow-billed Hornbill
    • Crested Barbet
    • Fiscal and Crimson-breasted Shrike
    • Glossy Starling
  • Reptilian prey
    • Snakes, including Puffadder, Boomslang, and Stripe-bellied Sand snakes
  • Other
    • Catfish and tilapia
      • Likely caught when the fish are stranded in shallow, drying pools or taken as carrion
    • Termites
      • On the ground, birds chase and eat the insects as they emerge from mounds (Hagemeyer and Bond 2014)

Diverse Diet

Bateleur in flight with prey

A Bateleur in flight with prey.

Bateleurs prey on everything from mammals to reptiles to fish to insects.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Hagemeyer and Bond (2014)
Smeenk (1974)
Steyn (1980)

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