The lizard buzzard is a smallish stocky raptor at 36 cm in length. The upperparts, head and breast are grey. There is a vertical black line on the white throat, which distinguishes this species from all other raptors. The belly is white with fine dark barring. The underwings are white with dark tips. The tail is black with a white tip and a single white band. Sexes are similar.

Habitat and Distribution

The lizard buzzard occurs in tropical Africa south of the Sahara. It is a bird of open woodland.


The lizard buzzard hunts mainly reptiles and large insects, but also small mammals and birds. It often sits quietly in the crown of an oil palm or on a telegraph wire.


It builds a stick nest in the fork of a tree or the crown of a palm tree. The clutch is one to three eggs.

Calls and Songs

The call is a whistled klu-klu-klu.