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The Bateleur eagle ( Terathopius ecaudatus), is named after the French word Bateleur for 'tightrope-walker' – probably chosen because of its distinctive aerial acrobatics. A medium-sized eagle in the family Accipitridae, the Bateleur eagle is the most famous of the snake eagles. It has exceptionally long wings and a short tail, so that its feet extend beyond the tail in flight. The bateleur's brown eyes are surrounded by facial skin that is a strikingly bright red, and devoid of feathers. As if to give a sense of artistic balance, the legs are the same brilliant red as the face. Bateleur eagles spend 8-9 hours each day in the air looking for food. Their diet includes antelope, mice, birds, snakes, carrion, lizards and especially road kills. Bateleur eagles pair for life and stay in the same nest for several years. The Bateleur eagle is found throughout Africa south of the Sahara. It prefers tree and bush savannah.
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