Honey Buzzard

Scientific name: Pernis apivorus

Did you know: The Honey Buzzard, with its impressive migration journey, travels all the way from Africa to the UK each summer, a testament to its remarkable endurance and navigational skills!

What Do Honey Buzzards Look Like? (how to identify them)

The Honey Buzzard, a majestic raptor, is distinguishable by its broad wings and long tail. Typical adults exhibit a greyish-brown plumage on their upperparts, contrasting with the whitish underparts. Their appearance varies significantly, making each sighting a unique experience.

Differences Between Male And Female Honey Buzzards

While male and female Honey Buzzards share similar plumage, the female is slightly larger and tends to have a darker shade, especially on the head and upperparts.

What Do Honey Buzzards Eat?

These raptors specialise in a unique diet, mainly focusing on insect larvae, particularly those of wasps and bees. Their feeding habits are an intriguing aspect of their ecology, as they are adept at excavating wasp nests.

Where Do Honey Buzzards Live? (inc. migration info)

Honey Buzzards are summer visitors to the UK, choosing woodlands as their preferred habitat. They winter in Africa, making a long migratory journey annually. Their presence in the UK is a sign of maturing upland conifer forests, which provide ideal breeding grounds.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Honey Buzzards)

Honey Buzzards are generally quiet, but they can be heard making a distinctive ‘peee-lu’ call, especially during their breeding season. This call adds to the allure of spotting these elusive birds.

Fun Honey Buzzard Facts (kid friendly)

  • Honey Buzzards use their keen vision and agility to hunt down wasp and bee larvae.
  • They have a unique defence against wasp stings – scale-like feathers around their eyes and forehead.
  • These birds are known for their remarkable long-distance migration from Africa to the UK.
  • Honey Buzzards have a wingspan ranging from 135 to 150 cm.
  • They can weigh anywhere between 600 and 1,100 grams.
  • Despite their name, Honey Buzzards prefer wasps over bees!
  • They are skilled at digging and walking, thanks to their straight claws.
  • Honey Buzzards can live up to 25 years in the wild.
  • They are known for their soaring flight, often gliding effortlessly on flat wings.
  • These birds are a symbol of the secretiveness and beauty of nature, often staying hidden in their woodland habitats.

Honey Buzzard Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The Honey Buzzard

Diet: Mainly insect larvae of wasps and bees.
Bird Family: Kites, hawks and eagles
Length: 52-60cm
Wingspan: 135-150cm
Weight: 600-1,100g
Scientific Name: Pernis apivorus

The Honey Buzzard Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September