The 52-60 cm long (20-24 in) Honey Buzzard is larger and longer winged, with a 135-150 cm (53-59 in) wingspan, when compared to the smaller 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, usually with two narrow dark bars and a broad dark sub-terminal bar. The sexes can be distinguished on plumage, which is unusual for a large bird of prey. The male has a blue-grey head, while the female's head is brown. The female is slightly larger and darker than the male.
Habitat and Distribution
The Honey Buzzard is a summer migrant to most of Europe and western Asia, wintering in tropical Africa. It is seen in a wide range of habitats, but generally prefers woodland and exotic plantations. The Honey Buzzard breeds in woodland.
It is a specialist feeder, living mainly on the larvae and nests of wasps and hornets, although it will take small mammals, reptiles and birds. It is the only known predator of the Asian giant hornet.
Calls and Songs
The call is a clear peee-lu.