Forest Buzzard | Buteo trizonatus

Robert's Raptor Information: Forest Buzzard

The Forest Buzzard is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.

The description for the Forest Buzzard (Latin name Buteo trizonatus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Buteo trizonatus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 150 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 523. You will find a picture of the Forest Buzzard on page 480.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Forest Buzzard between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Forest Buzzard is known in Afrikaans as Bosjakkalsvoel.

The Forest Buzzard is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Forest Buzzard has a height of 45 cms and weighs around 570 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Buteo trizonatus has a white coloured throat, yellow legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are yellow.

Throat is white.

Back is brown.

Forest Buzzard Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Forest Buzzard strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Forest Buzzard uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Forest Buzzard is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The Forest Buzzard is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Forest Buzzard is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.