European Honey-Buzzard

Pernis apivorus

European Honey-Buzzards are rare visitors to South Africa during our summer months, arriving around November and departing again by May. While they’ve been recorded in all our provinces it seems most of the limited sightings are in and around Gauteng. Their breeding range stretches from western Europe to central Asia, migrating to sub-Saharan Arica when the northern climes get chilly. The IUCN considers it to be of least concern, with an estimated population of between a quarter- and half-a-million.

European Honey Buzzards are insectivorous and have a particular liking for wasp and bee larvae and pupae, even digging up nests from underground. They are usually encountered in densely vegetated habitats, like forest, woodland, plantations and gardens. They’re about 55cm long and weigh approximately 750g.

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