Honey Buzzard

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Honey Buzzard

Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Falconiformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Pernis
Species:apivorus
Binomial name
Pernis apivorus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus) is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, eagles and harriers.

Despite its name, this species is not related to the true buzzards in the genus Buteo, and is closer to the kites.

It is a summer migrant to most of Europe and western Asia, wintering in tropical Africa. It is a specialist feeder, living mainly on the larvae and nests of wasps, although it will take other small prey. The specific name apivorus means "bee-eater", although bees are much less important than wasps in its diet.

The Honey Buzzard breeds in woodland, and is inconspicuous except in the spring, when the mating display includes wing-clapping. Breeding males are fiercely territorial.

The 52-60 cm long Honey Buzzard is larger and longer winged (with a 135-150 cm wingspan) than the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo. It appears longer necked with a small head, and soars on flat wings. It has a longer tail, which has fewer bars than the Buteo buzzard.

Unusually for a large bird of prey, the sexes can be distinguished on plumage. The male has a blue-grey head, while the female's head is brown. She is slightly larger and darker than the male.

When it migrates, the Honey Buzzard will follow the coastline if there is one close by. It uses the stars to navigate (like many other birds) and it can detect the Earth's magnetic field and can use this too. It faces many problems when its on the way to Africa because of hunting, especially around the Mediterranean Sea, the weather, and the long Sahara Desert crossing.

The call is a clear peee-lu.

de:Wespenbussard eo:Vespobuteo fi:Mehiläishaukka it:Adorno lt:Vapsvaėdis pl:Trzmielojad sv:Bivråk he:אית צרעים

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