Pernis apivorus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Family: Accipitriformes > Accipitridae
One of the UK's rarest breeding birds, Honey-buzzard is a raptor with a predilection for the grubs of wasp and bees.
While undoubtedly a rare breeding bird, the Honey-buzzard's preference for secluded mature woodland and secretive behaviour – spending relatively little time in the air – means that it is probably under-recorded.
Honey-buzzard is a summer visitor, whose wintering grounds lie to the south of the Sahara.
Honey-buzzard identification is often difficult. The following article may help when identifying Honey-buzzard.
Buzzard is a familiar bird, but in summer and during migration time there is always the chance of finding a Honey-buzzard. Would you be confident in identifying it? Have a look at this guide to help you tell the difference.
Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Honey-buzzard, provided by xeno-canto contributors.
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Status and Trends
Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.
This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.
There is little good evidence available regarding the drivers of the breeding population change in this species in the UK.
Honey-buzzard is a rare breeding species in the UK, with most records in southern England, plus Wales, north Yorkshire and Scotland.
Occupied 10-km squares in UK
|No. occupied in breeding season||81|
|% occupied in breeding season||2.7|
European Distribution Map
|% change in range in breeding season (1968–72 to 2008–11)||+554.5%|
Honey Buzzards are localised summer visitor, mostly arriving from May onwards, with a pulse of migrants in September in some years.
Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.
An overview of year-round movements for the whole of Europe can be seen on the EuroBirdPortal viewer.
Lifecycle and body size information about Honey-buzzard, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.
View number ringed each year in the Online Ringing Report
|Maximum Age from Ringing||12 years 11 months 21 days (set in 2018)|
|Typical Lifespan||9 years with breeding typically at 2 year|
|Juvenile Survival||0.419 (to age 2)|
|Field Codes||2-letter: HZ | 5-letter code: HONBU | Euring: 2310|
For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name
Interpretation and scientific publications about Honey-buzzard from BTO scientists.
Causes of change
No further information is available.
Information about conservation actions
Numbers are stable or increasing, hence the Hooded Crow is not a species of concern and no conservation actions are currently required.
As is the case with Carrion Crow, Hooded Crows have been blamed for the declines of other species such as songbirds and waders, leading to calls to control numbers, and legal control of crows still occurs on shooting estates.
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