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European Honey-Buzzard | Pernis apivorus

The European Honey-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 European Honey-Buzzard (Latin name Pernis apivorus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Pernis apivorus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 130 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 476. You will find a picture of the European Honey-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.

This bird is known as Honey Buzzard in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the European Honey-Buzzard between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The European Honey-Buzzard is known in Afrikaans as Wespedief.

The European Honey-Buzzard has a height of 60 cms and weighs around 750 gms. The head is coloured blue, grey while the bill is coloured black. The Pernis apivorus has a white coloured throat, yellow legs and a grey, brown coloured back. The eyes are orange.

The male Pernis apivorus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

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 blue, grey

Eyes are orange

Bill is black

Legs are yellow

Throat is white

Back is grey, brown

Feeding Habits ...

The Pernis apivorus attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

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

The bird is found in the African bushveld

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

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The European Honey-Buzzard is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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