Honey Buzzard

Honey Buzzard

"Pernis apivorus"

Our Honey Buzzard was given to us from Green Balkans Rescue Centre in Bulgaria. He is a rare migrant to the UK but we believe if we can make our environment better we can entice them to come back more regularly and maybe stay.  You can learn more about him and what you can do to support our Honey Buzzards daily in our 3.30pm conservation talk at the centre

Honey Buzzard Facts

Pernis apivorus


The Honey buzzard is a summer migrant to most of Europe and western Asia, wintering in tropical Africa. Being a long distance migrant, the honey buzzard relies on magnetic orientation to find its way south, as well as a visual memory of remarkable geographical features such as mountain ranges and rivers, along the way. The bird is an uncommon breeder in, and a scarce though increasing migrant to, Britain. Its most well-known summer population is in Hampshire but it is also found in Northumberland, Dorset, Norfolk, South Wales, Nottinghamshire, North Yorkshire, Devon and elsewhere.


Across its summer breeding range, the European honey-buzzard prefers mixed deciduous or coniferous lowland forest and woodland, typically where there are open patches and clearings. Wintering habitat across Africa varies depending on the region, although it is most often known from equatorial forest edges and clearings, and also moist woodland and occasionally lowland rainforest.


It is a specialist feeder, living mainly on the larvae and nests of wasps and hornets, although it will take small mammals, amphibians reptiles and bird also fruits and berries. It is the only known predator of the Asian giant hornet. It will spend large amounts of time on the forest floor excavating wasp nests. It is equipped with long toes and claws adapted to raking and digging, as well as scale-like feathering on its head, thought to be a defence against the stings of its victims. It is thought that honey buzzards have a chemical deterrent in their feathers that protects them from wasp attack.


Breeding occurs from mid-June onwards, and is timed to correspond with peaks in abundance of bees and wasps, will lay 2-4 eggs


52–60cm long, 135–150cm wingspan, weighing 440 - 1,050 g


28 years oldest recorded in the wild


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