Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Ciconiiformes / Accipitridae / Pernis / Species
Pernis apivorus - European honey buzzard (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Honey buzzard
  • Bondrée apivore (French)
  • Wespenbussard (German)
  • Falco pecchiaiolo (Italian)
  • Halcón abejero (Spanish)
  • Bivråk (Swedish)
  • Wespendief (Dutch)

Names for newly-hatched

Chick

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B162, B163, B164, B165

Aviculture references:
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ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

  • Birds of Prey

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

  • --

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Aviculture Information

Notes

--
Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length
  • 52-60cm (tail 21-26cm) (B162), 52-59cm (B164); 55cm (B165).
  • Wingspan: 135-150cm (B162);113-135cm (B164).
Adult weight General --
Male 440-1050g (B162).
Female 360-1050g (B162).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Black; cere yellow (B164, B165).
Variations (If present) --
Eyes (Iris) Male Yellow (B164, B165).
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill --
Eyes (Iris) --

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Legs

Adult Male Yellow (B164, B165).
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Yellow (B164).

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Plumage

Adult Male Plumage of adult variable.

Summary: Bold barring of body. 3 dark bands across flight-feathers and tail (2 close together across bases and 1 (broader) at ends of feathers): unique to this species (B162).

  • Head: blue-greyish.
  • Dorsal (upperparts): grey-brown.
  • Ventral (underparts): pale with dark cross-barring markings.
  • Wings: flight feathers grey, with tips dark: dark trailing edge and wing tip and 2-3 further dark bars across feathers; under wing coverts mottled, flight feathers broken bands (lines of spots) along wing, tips dark.
  • Tail: underside pale with two dark bands at base, also terminal dark band (dark tail tip).

(B164, B165)

Variations (If present) Female:
  • Head: reduced or absent blue-grey.
  • Upperparts browner than in male.
  • Wing: slightly more dark on tips of primaries, shorter distance to first bar on feathers, more bars on flight feathers.
  • Tail: shorter distance between tail tip and next dark bar.
  • (B164, B165)

Colour morphs: dark, medium, rufous, pale (B164).

Juvenile Juvenile plumages also variable: dark, medium, pale and rufous morphs.
  • Head: dark 'mask' over eye
  • Flight feathers: 4-5 bars
  • Underparts: Dark morph: uniform dark brown; medium/pale morphs: coarse dark streaks

(B162, B164)

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

Semi-altricial (B163).

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Eggs laid from May (B162).
No. of Clutches One (B162).

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Nest placement and structure

  • In a tree, 10-20m above ground.
  • Nest of twigs with ample green fresh vegetation.

(B163).

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 2 (B162, B163).
Range 1-3 (B162, B163).
Egg Description White or pale buff, heavily speckled/smeared with deep purple-red or brown-red, 52mm long, rounded oval, not glossy. (B162, B163).

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Incubation

30-35 days per egg; total incubation for clutch may be longer (B162, B163).

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Hatching

Asynchronous (B162, B163).

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Fledging

40-45 days (B163); 40-44 days (B162).

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Sexual Maturity

Males --
Females --

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults
  • Watches from perch or follows flying social insects to find nests.
  • Excavates nest and feeds on larvae and adults.
  • Also pursue ground insects on foot, and small vertebrates.

(B163)

Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building By both parents, but predominantly by female (B163).
Incubation By both parents, but predominantly by female (B163).
Newly-hatched Tended by both parents: initially male brings food to female, who feeds it to chicks (B163).
Juveniles Both parents feed chicks, even for several weeks after fledging (B163).

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific
  • Territorial when nesting.
  • Usually solitary or pairs, but loose flocks sometimes of hundreds on migration.

(B162, B163)

Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

  • Monogamous.
  • Long complex aerial displays.
  • Same individuals in pairs in successive years.

(B162, B163).

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Predation in Wild

--

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Activity Patterns

--
Circadian --

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Natural Diet

Adults

  • Social insects, ground insects such as beetles, and small vertebrates.
  • Also fruit.

(B162, B163)

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Newly-hatched

--

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal

Europe from Britain eastwards to about 90°E, also northern Iran. (B162)

  • In Britain: Rare. Small numbers (about 15 pairs) breed in large forests in southern England (B164, B165). Summer only (B164, B165), late April or May to late August or September) (B164, B165)

Movements:

  • Migratory; winters south, in Africa south of Sahara: west and central equatorial Africa, Guinea and Liberia eastwards to Central African Republic and Zaire. Reaches Natal and Angola.

  • Concentrated where try to avoid water crossings.

(B163) (B164)

Occasional and Accidental

Accidental: Iceland, Faeroes, Ireland, Madeira, Canary Islands (B162).

Introduced

--

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Habitat

Open woodland (B163); forests containing clearings - glades, small wetlands, fields (B164).

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

--

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Widespread Europe and north-central Asia. Local decreases some areas (B163).

General Legislation
  • This species is listed on Schedule 1 - Part I (Birds protected by special penalties: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds protected by special penalties at all times") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
CITES listing Listing not yet included.
Red-data book listing Listing not yet included.
Threats Persecution (shooting) (B163).

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Captive Populations

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Trade

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