Fun Honey Buzzard Facts For Kids

Devangana Rathore
Nov 17, 2022 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
There are so many fun honey buzzard facts to know and learn.

The honey buzzard is an immense honey raptor that is found in Europe. It is a beautiful, fearsome bird that flies high in the sky and is colored gray, brown, and white.

Though it is currently listed as a bird of Least Concern, it is fast losing its habitat due to human intervention. This is why you can expect it to be listed in the list of endangered species.

Even though it has a population of more than 280,000-420,000, the number of these birds is fast falling.

This bird even migrates from Europe to Africa every year since its native habitat becomes to cold to live in. Another reason this bird migrate is because its usual diet of animals and insects like bees goes thin due to the winter.

The honey buzzard is definitely a fearsome raptor, but is also full of fun, interesting, and unique facts you must know! If you like reading about all unique animals and birds of the world, then do check out the honey gourami and the honey bee too!

Honey Buzzard Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a honey buzzard?

The European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) is a type of bird.

What class of animal does a honey buzzard belong to?

The European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) belongs to the class of birds, Aves.

How many honey buzzards are there in the world?

The honey buzzard species has a global population range of 280,000-420,000 individuals. However, in the United Kingdom, there are only a few breeding pairs.

Where does a honey buzzard live?

The honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) lives in the woods. A migratory bird, honey buzzards nest in eastern and southern England, Wales, northern Scotland, and northern England.

What is a honey buzzard's habitat?

The honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) is a summer migrant that travels from most of Europe to almost as far eastward as southwestern Siberia in the western Palearctic. It can be found in a range of locations, although it likes woodland and tropical plantations because it can find its preferred food.

During the European winter, this bird relocates to tropical Africa. Gray catbirds dwell in rain forests where the foliage is green, in dense thickets with many trees.

Who do honey buzzards live with?

Except during migration, when birds flock together, honey-buzzards are usually solitary.

How long does a honey buzzard live?

The average lifespan of the honey buzzard species that feeds on bees and wasps is about nine years.

How do they reproduce?

The nest of a honey buzzard is built on the breeding grounds by both breeding adults every year at the same location or adjacent to their customary nest site. Small fresh twigs with leaves are used to make nests.

The female lays one to three white eggs with dark spots. The incubation period is approximately 30-35 days. Both breeding pairs share incubation and feeding of the young.

The young ones have the darker plumage of juveniles apart from the head until they are about 21 days old. At 40 days old, they depart the nest.

Cliff swallows are frequently spotted in groups foraging. A cliff swallow community comprises many mud nests rather than being lined with wood and straws.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these Eurasian honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) is Least Concern declared by the IUCN Red List.

Honey Buzzard Fun Facts

What do honey buzzards look like?

Adults have a small head and a longer neck, and they fly with flat wings. This bird has a longer tail than the common buzzard with fewer bands, usually two thin dark bars and a wide dark subterminal band.

It is uncommon with a large bird of prey to tell the sexes apart by plumage. The male possesses a blue-gray head, whilst the female is brown. The female is significantly taller and darker than the male.

The cere is yellow and the iris appears brown of the juvenile. It has a smaller tail and lacks the characteristic plumage pattern of adults. A dark eye mask can be seen on certain young ones with pale heads. Adults have greater black markings at the tips of their wings.

Pernis apivorus and Falco peregrinus Birds

How cute are they?

This species is not adorable in the traditional sense, yet they are quite attractive to the eye.

How do they communicate?

The honey-buzzard call sounds like a clear musical 'whee-oo'. The common sound of the male in flight is a harsh 'pleelu'. When males and females are enthusiastic, they say 'pewee' and 'ki-ki-ki'. Male and female honey buzzards communicate by blowing at each other in the nest.

How big is a honey buzzard?

The adult honey buzzard size in length is between 20–24 in (50.8–61 cm). The forest species, common buzzard (Buteo buteo), is located in Europe, Africa, and Asia. The common buzzard length measures around 15-23 in (38.1-58.4 cm). The honey buzzard is slightly larger than the common buzzard.

How fast can a honey buzzard fly?

In circular glides, the honey buzzard soars with well-held wings. The wings become decurved with a dangling hand when flying in a direct flight. It frequently flies with its head raised high.

How much does a honey buzzard weigh?

The average weight of this migratory raptor of Europe is approximately 26.8 oz (759.7 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and females of this species do not have any particular name.

What would you call a baby honey buzzard?

There is no specific name for baby honey buzzard predators that are wintering in tropical Africa.

What do they eat?

This bird is a specialized feeder that feeds primarily on hornets and wasps, larvae, and nests. However, this bird may also eat food like smaller animals, reptiles, and birds in its diet.

It spends a lot of time digging wasp nests on the forest floor. It has large claws and toes for scraping and digging, as well as scale-like scuffing on its head, which is supposed to protect it from the stings of its prey.

In addition, the honey buzzard's plumage contains a chemical deterrent that defends them from wasps attacks. In the late summer, it also adds food such as berries and fruits to the diet.

Are they poisonous?

This species of migrant raptors, the long-tailed honey buzzard, is not venomous.

Would they make a good pet?

Honey buzzards are protected in the United Kingdom by Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004. Taking, injuring, or killing a honey buzzard bird, as well as taking, damaging, or destroying its eggs, nest, or young, is illegal.

Therefore, it is not advisable to keep this wild and protected bird in captivity.

Did you know...

For honey-buzzard identification, it is important to realise that these birds are similar to common buzzards. However, honey buzzards have larger wings, a larger tail, and a slender neck frequently pushed forward in a black cuckoo-like way.

Do honey buzzards hover?

Honey buzzards are also capable of hovering for long periods of time. In the early spring, birds are usually seen in couples or small groups over breeding habitats.

What do buzzards kill?

Frogs, puffins, and dung beetles are the more uncommon items documented as being hunted and eaten. On the other hand, a hungry buzzard bird is capable of killing a wide range of prey, from bunnies to birds as large as wood pigeons, but any bigger prey killed was likely already sick or hurt.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these forest owlet facts and brown falcon facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable honey buzzard coloring pages.

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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

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Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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