Our Beautiful World

Kites, Perninae  

Honey Buzzard, Pernis apivorus  

Black Baza , Aviceda leuphotes
Author: NatureAtYourBackyard

Subfamily Perninae

Genus Aviceda
Genus Henicopernis
Genus Pernis *)
Genus Leptodon
Genus Chondrohierax

The raptor subfamily Perninae includes a number of medium-sized broad-winged species. These are birds of warmer climates,
although the Pernis species (European Honey Buzzard and Crested Honey Buzzard) have a more extensive range.

Several of the species in this group eat mainly insects, and the honey-buzzards are specialist feeders on wasp larvae.
Reptiles are also taken by several birds in this group.

English Norsk Latin
African Cuckoo-Hawk Gjøkbaza Aviceda cuculoides
Jerdon's Baza Brunbaza Aviceda jerdoni
Black Baza Svartbaza Aviceda leuphotes
Madagascar Cuckoo-Hawk Øglebaza Aviceda madagascariensis
Pacific Baza Australbaza Aviceda subcristata

Hook-billed Kite

Kroknebbglente Chondrohierax uncinatus
Long-tailed Honey-buzzard Langhalevepsevåk Henicopernis longicauda
Black Honey-buzzard Svartvepsevåk

Henicopernis infuscatus

Gray-headed Kite Gråhodeglente Leptodon cayanensis
White-collared Kite Hvitkrageglente

Leptodon forbesi

Eurasian Honey Buzzard, Vepsevåk Pernis apivorus
Barred Honey-buzzard Haukvepsevåk Pernis celebensis
Oriental Honey Buzzard Orientvepsevåk Pernis ptilorhynchus

The honey-buzzards, Pernis

Pernis is a genus of birds in the raptor subfamily Perninae. It consists of three medium-sized broad-winged species.
They breed in temperate and warmer climates of the Old World, and are specialist feeders on wasp larvae.
The two temperate species, the European and Crested Honey Buzzards, are migratory.
They breed in woodland, and are often inconspicuous except when displaying.

The members of this genus have plumage which mimics that of juvenile Common Buzzards or of Spizaetus hawk-eagles.

Honey Buzzard, Pernis apivorus  

© http://www.ecosystema.ru/


Photographed at Nylsvlei, South Africa 2006
Photo: © Neil Gray
The Honey Buzzard is best distinguished from the Common Buzzard by rather subtle differences in shape.
The head is longer and narrower, the tail longer and slimmer and the wings are longer and held horizontally during soaring flight. Plumages of both buzzards are confusingly variable but Honey Buzzards are sometimes characteristically barred across the underwings and if you see that the tail has only three well-spaced bars then you can be sure you've got a Honey Buzzard.
Best is if you can get both species to fly together....

A small number of pairs breed in Britain each year, mostly in the south of England, but with a few in Highland Scotland.
A number of well-publicised raptor watchpoints have been set up, to make seeing the species easier
. The best of these is probably Great Haldon Forest near Exete. Elsewhere occasional birds are seen on passage,
particulalry on the south and east coasts.

© http://www.floranimal.ru
The easiest place to see these birds is a the migration bottlenecks such as Gibraltar, Istanbul and Borcka. Otherwise, they are widespead breeding birds throughout much of Europe. They are difficult to see in their breeding woods but spend a great
deal of time in the air, either soaring or displaying.

The following shows a Honey Buzzard migrating from Scotland to Gabon, right under Equator, shown on a report from
 The Highland Foundation for Wildlife ,  found at http://www.roydennis.org (not valid as per Sept. 2010)

ARKive video - Female European honey-buzzards squabbling over invertebrate prey
Female European honey-buzzards squabbling over invertebrate prey
Roland Bischoff

© www.roydennis.org (not valid as per Sept. 2010)
On 5th August, 2002, we caught the adult male (pictured below) who is a most distinctive and very pale individual.

He was ringed GF 53481. The measurements were: wing length 410 mms, tail 253 mms and weight 785 grams.
He was in excellent condition. We fitted one of the new generation satellite transmitters. This should give more accurate signals during migration. On release he flew off strongly and joined the female who had been flying over head
(she is a dark brown individual).

Male's radio ceased transmitting on 22nd March; he was last located in coastal Gabon, south of the Equator on 12th March. We conclude the battery had run down prior to his spring migration.

On 24th May, Darrin Madgin reported a honey buzzard carrying a satellite transmitter flying west over Sussex,
and we think that this was likely to be the male, whose radio stopped transmitting in March.


The British population is thought to be 4-23 pairs, although this figure could possibly be as high as 30 pairs.
The European population is between 40,000-50,000 pairs, with a further 70,000-100 000 in Russia. Turkish population 50-500.

(the text above, except the migration part, is an abridged version of the extensive birdfile feature available in full on a CD-ROM Guide from Birdguides)


over 250


over 500


over 225
Web www.vulkaner.no

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