Monday, 4 March 2019

Oriental Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus)

OTHER NAMES: Crested Honey Buzzard
Latin Etymology: Pernis (a hawk mentioned by Aristotle) ptilorhynchus ("feather bill") 
Juvenile dark morph Oriental Honey Buzzard (unknown subspecies) at Bishan Park, Singapore - February 2019

Featured Subspecies: Unknown, migrant ranges overlap in Singapore; probably orientalis
Weight: 750g-1.5kg
Length: 52-68cm
Wingspan: 150-170cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

While it's European counterpart has long eluded me, the Oriental Honey Buzzard has turned out a little easier to catch up with, 3 birds in quick succession passed over me unexpectedly in a park in Singapore, with a 4th bird later perching up briefly when we visited the Gardens by the Bay.  The Honey Buzzard complex are specialist feeders on wasp larvae, although they will take other prey.  They are also notable for having plumage that mimicks stronger, more, aggressive raptors, which acts as a deterent from being attacked.  Despite the alternate name of Crested Honey Buzzard, half the subspecies of this bird don't actually have crests.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Pernis
SUBSPECIES: P. p. orientalis, P. p. ruficollis, P. p. torquatus, P. p. ptilorhynchus, P. p. palawanensis, P. p. philippensis

 - Sighting Locations -
SINGAPORE - A reasonably common passage migrant and Winter visitor
 - CAMBODIA/SINGAPORE 2019 TRIP: Three over Bishan Park and one over Gardens by the Bay

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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