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The upland buzzard is a type of large raptor found in different parts of the Asian continent. They are the biggest bird belonging to the Buteo genus. These birds are also migratory and they travel small distances in search of hunting areas. They migrate during fall in the months of September and October and return in spring from March to May. This bird species is often seen migrating over the Gobi desert in China and Mongolia during late October.
The bird is known for flying quite high and perching on tree branches of forests to catch their prey. It shares many similar physical characteristics with other types of buzzards so identifying them requires an expert eye. They are large birds of prey and are known by various names in other languages. For example, the bird is called 'Buse de Chine' in French, 'Mongolenbussard' in German, and 'Busardo Mongol' in Spanish. Keep reading for more amazing facts about the upland buzzard!
An upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) is a type of bird that belongs to the family of Accipitridae.
An upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) belongs to the Aves class of the Animalia kingdom.
The exact population of the upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) has not yet been calculated by researchers but some studies (including that by Birdlife International) say that their current global population is more than 10,000 individuals.
The upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) is found in the Central, South, and Eastern regions of Asia. It can be seen in the countries of India, China, Pakistan, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Kazakhstan, Bhutan, North Korea, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Iran, Japan, Hong Kong, and Tajikistan. The upland buzzard distribution range is quite large even though it is not often spotted.
The upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) lives in a habitat of open forests, expansive grasslands such as steppes, pastures, and semi-deserts. During winter, they move to lower altitudes.
Not much is known about the social behavior of upland buzzards (Buteo hemilasius). However, most buzzards, belonging to the family of Accipitridae, do not form flocks to stay together in a region but several of them are seen for migration or when they find a good habitat.
The exact lifespan of an upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) is not known yet. However, most buzzard species have an average lifespan of eight years after they become sexually mature.
The mating season of the upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) occurs between the months of April and August. The upland buzzard nest is built with sticks, twigs, and grass and rests on the ledge of cliffs. The female bird lays two to four eggs in a clutch after an incubation period of 36-38 days. The chicks are gray-brown in color and start to fledge around 45 days after birth. Birds in Mongolia have been seen to lay up to eight eggs in a clutch.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) as Least Concern in their Red List as their population trend across South Korea, North Korea, Hong Kong, Mongolia, China, Bhutan, India, Japan, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan is considered to be stable.
This bird species has both pale and dark morphs or forms. The pale morphs of this species are lighter in color with beige or dark brown tones. Their head is ochre-colored while their nape and chest are fully white. Their flanks and stomach are dark brown while their tails are gray in color with dark-colored bands. Their flight feathers look white with dark brown or blackish wingtips during flight. The dark morph upland buzzard is entirely black and dark brown in color. Their feather pattern is similar to that of the pale morph but is dark in comparison.
Birds of this species are not very cute. However, this species quite majestic while flying high up in the sky.
There is not much information on how these bird species communicate with each other but researchers have recorded them using sound. The upland buzzard call is not very loud but is a mewing sound that extends for a long time.
The average length of the birds of this species falls between the range of 22-27 in (56-69 cm). The average length of the wingspan of this species is 4-5 ft (122-152.4 cm). It is almost twice as big as a house sparrow.
While the speed of the upland buzzards in flight is not known, researchers have been able to record the height to which they can fly. Birds of this species are known for hovering while hunting and swoop down in order to snatch their prey.
The average weight of this bird species is 2-3 lb (907-1361 g).
Male and female upland buzzard is referred to as cock and hen respectively.
A baby bird of this species is referred to as a chick.
Birds of this species are carnivorous predators who primarily prey on small mammals and rodents such as Tundra voles, pikas, marmots, gerbils, and ground squirrels. In Tibet, they prey on some passerine birds like finches, buntings, and larks. They also prey on domestic chickens and may even catch large hares at times.
Upland buzzards are not known to be poisonous or harmful to human beings.
Upland buzzards would not make a good pet at all. They are wild birds who are found in open habitats flying to a high altitude in order to catch their prey. They are also exclusively found in China, Mongolia, Bhutan, Hong Kong, North Korea, South Korea, Pakistan, India, Japan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan.
There is high sibling competition between these birds when they are still young fledglings. Instances of nestlings killing each other are seen when there is not enough prey in that region.
Researcher duo Temminck Schlegel identified this bird in 1844 and gave it its name.
Buzzards, like other raptors, use thermal lifts to soar to a high altitude. This helps them soar over open lands where they can search for prey. The upland buzzard has been recorded to fly up to 16,000 ft (4877 m) in elevation but it rests at a height of 3300-14,800 ft (1006-4511 m). During winters, they can even come down to sea level.
The upland buzzard is often misidentified as its feature matches with the long-legged buzzard. However, they are slightly larger in size and do not have the same warm tones in the plumage color even though they have the same patterns on their bodies. The long-legged buzzard has smaller wings and a shorter tail. The bottom part, or the 'trousers,' of the upland buzzard are covered with brown feathers and are more insulated than other types of buzzards. The feature of the upland buzzard also matches with the Himalayan and Eastern buzzard.
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 birds of paradise facts and blue grosbeak facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable upland buzzard coloring pages.
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