Jackal Buzzard

Buteo rufofuscus

The Jackal Buzzard is a large bird of prey (wingspan up to 1.4m, weight up to 1.7kg, females being the larger sex) found only in Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa. While they do occur over arid scrublands, open grasslands and agricultural areas they are most common in hilly and mountainous areas where they are usually the most numerous and conspicuous large raptor. They feed mainly on small mammals, birds, reptiles and carrion and occasionally insects and frogs.

Outside of the spring & summer breeding season they’re usually seen singly, though pairs do seem to be monogamous and share a territory. Nests are built atop large trees or rocky ledges and are often re-used in consecutive years. The female incubates the clutch of 1-3, eggs, while the male brings food to her over a 6 week period, with the chicks staying in the nest for up to 2 months after hatching before attempting their first flight. Last hatched chicks are often much smaller than their sibling and frequently dies as it cannot compete for food. The chicks stay with their parents for quite some time after leaving the nest.

The Jackal Buzzard gets its name from its call, which could easily be confused for that of the Black-backed Jackal. It is considered of least concern by the IUCN, though unintentional poisoning may be a concern. They have a life expectancy of around 25 years.

17 thoughts on “Jackal Buzzard

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      It’s a sad situation, Lois, and mostly illegal, but some of our small stock farmers use poisoned carcasses to control what they term “vermin” like jackals, and poachers also use the technique to kill vultures and big cats for “traditional medicine”. Sadly more often than not many other animals and birds that come to scavenge from such poisoned carcasses die as a result.

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