honey buzzard

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honey buzzard,

common name for several medium-sized, buzzardlike hawks (genus Pernis) of Eurasia and Africa. The European honey buzzard, Pernis apivorus, is predominantly reddish brown, and its tail is marked by three lateral brown bands, though its color varies. As with many birds of prey, the female tends to be larger than the male, with a wingspan of up to 60 in. (152 cm). Honey buzzards have a pointed, decurved bill, and a unique (among birds of prey) patch between eyes and bill, which is covered with scalelike, rather than large, bristly feathers. They have powerful toes and strong claws.

Honey buzzards are found throughout the Old World, where they feed on a diet of bees, wasps, other insects, and honey and honeycomb, which the birds steal from hives. The entire breeding season, from nest building to independence of the young, takes as long as five months. For this reason, many breed only every second year. The female lays two white, brown-spotted eggs per clutch, which are incubated for a period of 30 days.

In winter, the European honey buzzard migrates to breeding grounds in Africa. The larger crested honey buzzard, P. ptilorhyncus, of Asia also migrates to southern regions in the winter; the barred honey buzzard, P. celebensis, is found in the tropical and subtropical forests of the Malay Archipelago. The honey buzzards, which are not closely related to the true buzzards of the genus Buteo (see hawkhawk,
name generally applied to the smaller members of the Accipitridae, a heterogeneous family of diurnal birds of prey, such as the eagle, the kite, and the Old World vulture.
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), are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Accipitriformes, family Accipitridae.

Honey Buzzard


(Pernis apivorus), a predatory bird of the family Falconidae. The body length is about 60 cm, and the wingspread about 140 cm. The color of the plumage is variable, especially in young birds. In adults the back is gray-brown, and the underparts are dark with light markings. The legs are strong, with blunt talons adapted for digging out underground nests of wasps and bees, whose larvae the honey buzzard feeds on (hence the name). Rigid, scalelike plumelets protect the facial parts of the head from stinging insects. The honey buzzard also eats other insects, as well as frogs, rodents, and, occasionally, birds. It nests in Europe and western Asia and winters in Africa. In the USSR it nests as far east as the Altai. The honey buzzard inhabits hardwood forests and builds its nests in trees. One to three eggs are laid per clutch, and they are incubated, primarily by the female, for 30 to 35 days. A closely related species, the Siberian honey buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus), lives in the USSR east of Central Siberia.

References in periodicals archive ?
There are 50 or 60 breeding pairs of honey buzzards in Scotland and the tracking of 21250 was backed by the Highland Foundation for Wildlife and the Forestry Commission.
Honey buzzards normally avoid long stretches of sea and experts hope the chick is resting on something floating.
Along with honey buzzard expert Steve Roberts, FCW has been studying the birds for a number of years with the help of a static nest camera to record their annual visits to the forests of South Wales.
The raid also found four stuffed owls, a Montagu's Harrier, a Marsh Harrier and Honey Buzzard.
DVD footage captured by a RSPB Cymru nest-cam shows the goshawk intimidating the female honey buzzard into leaving the nest before flying down and taking her chick.
This is the first time a British honey buzzard has been satellite tracked on its northward migration and so far there are no great surprises as she is broadly retracing her southward journey last autumn," he added.
A research project is also planned with Newcastle University on the honey buzzard.
A honey buzzard chick at the Afan Forest Park, near Port Talbot, which was also the subject of a public viewing scheme, was killed by a goshawk
Working with Steve Roberts, a honey buzzard expert and member of the Welsh Raptor Study Group under licence from the Countryside Council for Wales, Ecology matters have fitted two honey buzzards with solar-powered satellite tags.
Among the haul were eggs from golden eagle, honey buzzard and Egyptian vulture birds along with stuffed animals including the marsh harrier, honey buzzard and barn owl.
The project will show 'nest-cam' footage from a honey buzzard nest in South Wales, following an adult pair as they raise their chick, which hatched at the end of last week.
Some of the rarest eggs included those of a red-necked phalarope and a Montagu's harrier, while among the dead birds was a honey buzzard.