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Have you ever been fascinated by the soaring hawks in the sky? Their flight movement, along with the gracious gliding, captures our attention in awe. Today we learn about one such species, the Eastern buzzard. These birds are found in Mongolia, China, and Japan.
As these Buteo species of birds are predominantly seen in Japan, they get their name as Buteo japonicus. These partial migratory birds winter in Southeast Asia.
The eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is a bird species, also known as Japanese buzzards. An eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is a bird of prey, medium to large-sized, commonly found in Mongolia, China, and Japan.
Though called by Americans as a hawk, eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) bird species have common names in different languages worldwide.
Eastern buzzards (Buteo japonicus ) belong to the class Aves, family Accipitridae, and order Accipitriformes. Order Accipitriformes include the majority of diurnal birds of prey. The distinct feature of the class Aves is that these animals are warm-blooded, and they have highly developed flight muscles that help them in flight.
The overall population count of the eastern buzzard is unknown. However, with the Least Concern status in the IUCN Red List, we can conclude there is no imminent threat to the population of these species of birds. Their population is well distributed in their habitat range, and they are not endangered.
The eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) can be sighted from the Lake Baikal area, east of Mongolia, to the northeastern part of China, extending further to the Sakhalin Islands in Japan. They also inhibit the Kuril Islands in Tibet and some parts of northwest India.
Some Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) birds winter in India, China, Southern Japan, and Korea.
The eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) prefers a diverse habitat range like Treed and open terrain, forests, mountain regions, open grasslands, agricultural lands, and wooded city parks. etc. They are located closer to open lands, just like a hawk. This Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) species prefer temperate climate and trees that are at least 20ft high to build their nests.
The Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) species are not known to live in huge flocks. Instead, the Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is often sighted with a smaller group of their family species, reaching up to 20 members.
The exact lifespan of Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) species is unknown. However, buzzards have a high mortality rate in juveniles that amounts to one-third of their number. On the other hand, the ones that cross the threshold of reproductive maturity tend to live longer, up to eight years on average.
Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) bird species breed from April to May. Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) bird species mate for life, and the breeding pair is highly territorial. They build nests on pine trees or rocky cliffs up to 20m (787.5 in) off the ground. Up to three eggs are laid by the eastern buzzard female, which is incubated for 33-35 days. The chicks are out in the world in two days intervals.
For the first couple of weeks, the female Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) broods the chicks, and the male Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) fetches the food. The young chicks fledge in 50-55 days but remain with their parents for another six to eight weeks.
As per the IUCN Red List, Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is classified as Least Concern. Their population is well established and not facing any serious threats.
However, the subspecies, B. j. oshiroi, from Daito Islands, are classified as Critically Endangered by the Japan Integrated Biodiversity Information System (J-IBIS). The agency also lists another subspecies, B. j. toyoshimai from Izu Islands and Bonin Islands, as Endangered for their declining population trend.
The Buteo japonicus, Eastern buzzard, has a robust and bulky medium-length build of the body. Their wings are broad and rounded. In addition, they have a rounded tail very similar to the Common buzzard (Buteo buteo). So Buteo japonicus is similar to the common buzzard (Buteo buteo) that the Buteo japonicus was considered one species like the common buzzard (Buteo buteo) by the scientists. However, until recently, scientists have given Buteo japonicus an independent status from the common buzzard (Buteo buteo).
The Buteo japonicus, eastern buzzard, is brown with paler underparts.
The Buteo japonicus, eastern buzzards, are a sight to watch when they are in flight. They look regal and poised in their perching positions, but we're not sure that they're cute.
The Buteo japonicus have various calls to communicate with others of their species. An Eastern buzzard call is a descending two-note sound that is similar to a scream or a cry. The sound of Eastern buzzard birds is higher pitched than the common buzzard.
The eastern buzzard can grow as much as 21.2 in (54 cm) in length. However, they are almost two times smaller than vulture turkeys that can size up to 32 in (81 cm) in length.
The exact speed of the flight of the Japanese buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is not known. But a similar subspecies related to the Japanese buzzard (Buteo japonicus), the Eastern turkey buzzard, can fly great heights up to 20,000 ft and travel 200 mi a day.
Another similar subspecies related to the Japanese buzzard (Buteo japonicus), Buteo jamaicensis, can fly at a speed of 40 mph (64.3 kph) when soaring or flapping its wings, but when diving, it can gather a speed of 120 mph ( 193.1 kph).
The eastern buzzard weighs 34.2 oz (970 g). Thus, they are almost half the size of a red-tailed hawk.
There are no sex-specific names for eastern buzzards.
A baby Eastern buzzard or Japanese buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is called a chick. The young Eastern buzzard or Japanese buzzard (Buteo japonicus) bird is under parental supervision for the first couple of months after birth.
They feed on hares, pheasants, snakes, lizards, frogs, and insects.
Eagles, foxes, and wildcats are the predators of the buzzards.
The eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is not a poisonous species of bird. On the contrary, they are harmless to humans.
As Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is a bird of prey and a wild species, they are not preferred as a house pet.
In the United States, the word buzzard is synonymously used with the native Turkeys though they are two different species.
The breeding pair of Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) builds as many as 21 probable nesting sites, and they change the nesting site every year. They decorate their nests with fresh green foliage.
The special thing about the Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) bird species is that they partially migrate to Southeast Asia during winters.
The Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is found in Japan, China and Mongolia. Whereas, Steppe buzzard is endemic to many parts of Europe. The Steppe buzzard is smaller in size with longer wings compared to the other buzzard species, but the Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is even smaller than these Steppe buzzards. Steppe buzzard is found in shades of fox-red, grey-brown, dark-rufous, and black. In contrast, the Eastern buzzard (Buteo japonicus) comes in shades of dark brown with paler underparts.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Eastern kingbird facts and Greater sage grouse facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Eastern buzzard coloring pages.
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