European Honey Buzzard

 Pernis apivorus

More closely related to kites than buzzards, honey buzzards come in a variety of plumages and are attracted to wasps’ nests where they find their major food source; larvae and pupae. They are uncommon summer visitors to southern Africa and are still considered a “rare” bird sighting, despite the increase of records in recent years. Although easily confused with steppe buzzards, looking for their tell-tale head shape (small head & beak) and tail pattern, can make identification much simplerI first recorded this small-headed buzzard with Skye Hartog in January 2011 while driving the 60 kilometre tourist route at Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve in southern Gauteng. I had to wait for another 3 years before I was able to get a decent photograph of this awesome looking bird of prey at Bonamanzi Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu Natal.


European Honey-Buzzard / Bonamanzi Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 24 February 2014 (Edited – lens blur to background) European-Honey-Buzzard—Crop-SMSH European Honey-Buzzard / Bonamanzi Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 24 February 2014 (Edited) European-Honey-Buzzard—Crop-2-SMSH European Honey Buzzard / Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, South Africa / 08 January 2011 European Honey Buzzard / Kurisa Moya, Magoeboskloof, South Africa / 02 February 2012
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