Golden Hour Bateleur

The Bateleur is a medium-sized eagle with very distinctive plumage. The dark colours make them difficult to photograph in the harsh Kalahari light. However, if you find them during the “golden hour” of early morning or late afternoon, they glow and you can capture the beauty of the feathers.


A Bateleur enjoying the late afternoon sun ©WMB/

A close-up of the feathers ©WMB/

A close-up of the wing feathers ©WMB/

The Bateleur is named after the French for “tightrope walker” as it spends most of the day up in the sky, riding the air current and rocking from side-to-side.



The adult Bateleur plumage only develops after seven to eight years. Juveniles are a mottled brown.


A juvenile Bateleur eating a dove for breakfast. ©WMB/









For more info and stories about the Kalahari see Kalahari Series I – 2009 and Kalahari  Series II – 2011.

About lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)
This entry was posted in Nature ● Environment, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Golden Hour Bateleur

  1. Estie says:

    Amazing pictures. Well done.

  2. Reggie says:

    OMW, these are magnificent photos – were they taken with your new long lens? The detail on the wings is incredible… what a stunning bird!

  3. Amazing pics of the plumage. (Is that correct?) Those varying shades of brown make me want to paint it….

  4. Frank Prem says:

    Lovely pics. I’ll enjoy following your posts.



  5. Amy says:

    Great photo captures of these special birds!

  6. Woolly Muses says:

    Love the Bateleur and most other African animals/birds. Fond memories from our Safaris.

  7. dunelight says:

    I almost drove off the icy road today when I saw a small falcon fly up out of a ditch here in West Michigan. I love my song birds, I am also fascinated by birds of prey. Those rounded, buff colored shoulder feathers on this guy are fascinating.

    • LOL In our wildlife reserves birders are well known for stopping suddenly when they spot a bird they want to watch or photograph. We don’t know a lot about birds, but like to photograph them. There’s another set of interesting photos here We were photographing a couple of lions when a vulture swept in, and turned out to be the more interesting photograph subject.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s