Fun Jackal Buzzard Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Jackal Buzzard Facts For Kids

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Are you interested to know more about birds of prey like Cooper's hawk? If yes, then you are at the right place as today we are going to learn about the jackal buzzard (Buteo rufofuscus), which is mainly found in the mountains of South Africa. The species' distribution is southern Africa, especially in areas like the open grasslands and semi-desert regions. However, this bird is mainly known for the description of its beautiful plumage. The red-brown breast, underparts, and tail, along with the black and white pattern present on the wing covers, give it a marvelous appearance. In comparison, the head and neck are covered in black feathers. When in flight, you can watch the rufous-brown underwing coverts and the edge of each wing look like fingers. This bird also has a strong yellow beak that it uses to tear through the skin and muscles of its prey. The bird has a swift flight, and while on the hunt, this bird often glides over the ground before catching the prey.

Want to know more about this bird? Keep on reading to find interesting jackal buzzard facts. Also, check out the articles on Hawaiian hawk and Griffon vulture to learn about birds. 

Fun Jackal Buzzard Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Rodents, hyrax, birds, springbok, other small mammals

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2 eggs

How much do they weigh?

30.5-59.8 oz (865-1695 g)

How long are they?

17.7-21.7 in (45-55 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black with red and brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Habitat Loss, Diseases, Drowning In Reservoirs

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Savannahs, Open Steppe Region, Sub Desert Coastal Region


Africa, Especially Towards The South









Jackal Buzzard Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a jackal buzzard?

The jackal buzzard (Buteo rufofuscus) is a South African buzzard or Buteo species that are closely related to the archer's buzzard along with the augur buzzard.

What class of animal does a jackal buzzard belong to?

The jackal buzzard belongs to the class Aves, to the family Accipitridae, and to the genus Buteo.

How many jackal buzzards are there in the world?

This is a common species of birds found in South Africa and its neighboring regions. So, it would be hard to find the exact population of this species as its abundant.

Where does a jackal buzzard live?

The rufous-colored jackal buzzard is endemic to Southern Africa, and the jackal buzzard range map includes South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Botswana.

What is a jackal buzzard's habitat?

The habitat distribution of the jackal buzzard (Buteo rufofuscus) is mainly in the mountains along with inhabiting areas like open grasslands, savannahs, semi-deserts, open steppe regions, and the subdesert coastal region. This bird prefers to live in mountains with an altitude of up to 11,482 ft (3499.7 m) above sea level, and it stays out of human areas as much as possible. As these birds prefer to hunt closer to the ground, it doesn't like lands with a long vegetation covers.

Who do jackal buzzards live with?

Like any other bird of prey, the jackal buzzard also lives a solitary life, except the breeding season when it pairs up with another to form a monogamous relationship.

How long does a jackal buzzard live?

The average lifespan of the jackal buzzard is around nine years.

How do they reproduce?

The jackal buzzard is usually a monogamous species that spend time building a nest on a tree way before the breeding season actually starts. These birds usually lay eggs in the months of June-February, but most of the eggs are laid by November. One of the striking mating rituals of the jackal buzzard is the aerial displays which get even more elaborate during the mating season. It is also the time when the birds make mating calls. The nest is usually made in for of a tall tree.

As solitary nesters, these birds can be quite territorial during the breeding season, and the same nest can be used by families for over 30 years. The adult female usually lays two bluish-white eggs and is incubated by the female for up to 40 days. The chicks are born with a white down, and both parents make sure to take care of the young. While the adult female mainly tends to the chicks, food is brought to the nest by the male birds. Apart from the 40 days of incubation, it takes 50-53 days for the juvenile jackal buzzard to leave the nest and to take a leap towards the first flight.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the jackal buzzard is currently categorized under the status of Least Concern.

Jackal Buzzard Fun Facts

What do jackal buzzards look like?

When it comes to the appearance of a buzzard, the jackal buzzard is often called the most handsome buzzard out there. You will also be able to make out the majestic look of this bird through the jackal buzzard images. The most striking thing is the jackal buzzard beak which is usually pale yellow with a black tip, and by looking at it, you can understand the power. Even the legs and feet of this bird are pale yellow. Moreover, the legs are quite strong and end with sharp talons that can easily evade the skin of its prey.

However, it's impossible to ignore the beautiful plumage of this bird and the chestnut brown or reddish-brown feathers present on its breast. This chestnut brown color is also seen in the underparts, especially near the tail. The feathers present in the abdomen area are also quite interesting as the black and white feathers form a wave-like pattern. Coming to the wings, you can see that the wings also have a black and white pattern, and you can truly see the beauty of its flight feathers during the aerial displays of the bird during the breeding season. The head and neck are usually covered in black feathers with a little bit of white near the eyes. It takes almost three years for the birds to get the adult plumage and the juveniles usually have pale rufous-brown underparts.

Jackal Buzzard

How cute are they?

Even though the jackal buzzard of South Africa may not be as cute as the golden masked owl, but its beautiful plumage will surely make you appreciate its appearance.

How do they communicate?

The jackal buzzard is known for its calls which are similar to that of a jackal that also lives in a similar South African habitat. Apart from the usual 'weeah ka-ka-ka' call, the bird also makes calls like the barking 'kweh'. Also, compared to female birds, males give out a more high-pitched call. Along with the calls, the keen eyesight of these birds helps them to catch their prey without fail.

How big is a jackal buzzard?

The usual body size range of the jackal buzzard is around 17.7-21.7 in (45-55 cm), and the adult female bird tends to be a tad larger than the adult male birds. Compared to it, the common buzzard has a body size range of around 15.7-22.8 in (40-58 cm).

How fast can a jackal buzzard fly?

We don't have any information about the flight speed of jackal buzzards from South Africa. However, buzzards usually have a flight speed range of 28 mph which helps the birds to catch their prey. The jackal buzzard wingspan is usually around 50-56 in (127-142.2 cm), which is visible when it is flying. It's also when you can see the rufous or chestnut underwing coverts of this fabulous Southern African bird species. They are non-migratory.

How much does a jackal buzzard weigh?

The usual weight range of this bird is around 30.5-59.8 oz (865-1695 g), and the female birds weigh more than males.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male and female of this Southern African bird species.

What would you call a baby jackal buzzard?

Baby jackal buzzards are known as chicks.

What do they eat?

When it comes to the diet, the jackal buzzard usually feeds on small mammals, and this bird from South Africa also has an affinity towards various rodents. First, this bird keeps a keen eye on the prey, usually by sitting on a tree, and then spreads its wings to fly close to the ground to catch the prey. Common food items liked by this species include hyrax, smaller birds, and springboks. Its diet may also include some insects like grasshoppers and termites. As the weather starts to get colder, the birds may need to rely on road kill.

Are they poisonous?

No, these aren't poisonous birds. However, it has sharp talons and a strong beak which helps the bird to attack the prey or an enemy.

Would they make a good pet?

As mainly an endemic species of South Africa, it isn't a good idea to have these birds as your pet.

Did you know...

The bluish-white eggs of this species from Southern Africa can also have brown spots. Also, the older chick may often have a tendency to attack and kill the younger sibling.

It's said that there's a morph of this bird that has a description of white breast and underparts compared to the rufous or red-brown feathers of this species.

How did the jackal buzzard get its name?

The jackal buzzard is called so because of its call that resembles another South African animal, the black-backed jackal. Both animals have a 'weeah ka-ka-ka' sound which might cause a little confusion. However, in Afrikaans, jackal buzzards are known as the rooiborsjakkalsvoël, which means the red-breasted jackal bird defining the red-brown plumage seen on its breast.

Are jackal buzzards endangered?

No, the jackal buzzards currently have a good population in their local habitat. However, it has been noted that some birds have drowned at the reservoirs present at the steep-sided farms, but the issue hasn't drastically affected the population of these South African birds.

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 giant cowbird facts and ani bird facts for kids.

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

Main image by Dick Daniels.

Second image by Bob Adams.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?