Bateleur eagle, in flight

The bateleur eagle is very easy to spot in flight, even for the amateur ornithologist.

First, it does not have a tail (Look! The legs are actually longer than the tail). Since this appendage is usually needed for steering, the bateleur compensates with very flexible wing tips. This combination is nearly unique within raptors.

Second, the adult is highly recognizable because of its wing colors and red face.

_DSC1753w - Bateleur_DSC1754w - Bateleur
_DSC1755w - Bateleur_DSC1760w - Bateleur

But while shooting one eagle in flight is a bit difficult (I have plenty of bad/failed pictures and I have tried even more without even getting a picture), there is one situation that you should not miss: Two eagles.

At first, I thought that the adult was teaching the juvenile and they were flying together in a tight formation. But, then, I did not think and start to shoot a continuous sequence when the juvenile tried to play with the adult.

_DSC1733w - Two bateleur eagles_DSC1735w - Two bateleur eagles

Mental note to inner photographer: Always keep the camera with you; Always be ready to shoot the unexpected.

Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus), Bateleur des savanes.
Moremi National Park, Botswana.
May 2010.

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