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Jackal Buzzard

From Opus

Revision as of 23:42, 31 October 2008 by Jthoppes (Talk | contribs)
Buteo rufofuscus
Photo by rudydbn Location:  Gaints Castle, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Photo by rudydbn
Location: Gaints Castle, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Photo by mybs Location:  Near Stellenbosch, South Africa
Photo by mybs
Location: Near Stellenbosch, South Africa

Contents

Identification

Length 44-55 cm, mass 0.9-1.7 kg. Females larger than males. The wings are broad and the tail short. Adult: Black above with a chestnut tail. The chin and throat are black and the breast is rich rufous, bordered by white feathers. The underwing coverts are black and the flight feathers from below are white (white barred black from above), tipped with black to form a dark trailing edge to the wing. White-breasted morphs occur, and sometimes the entire underparts are white. Dark morphs with underparts that are mostly black have also been observed, but are rare.

Juvenile: Mainly brown above and rufous brown below and on the tail.

Distribution

Southern Africa: Widespread in South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. More thinly distributed in Namibia. The edge of its range extends marginally into Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Taxonomy

Closely related to (and sometimes lumped with) Augur Buzzard Buteo augur.

Buteo rufofuscus is monotypic.

Habitat

Mainly hills and mountains, although non-breeding adults and juveniles can be found in flat terrain. The species prefers short vegetation, ranging from fynbos, Karoo and semi-desert to open woodland and grassland.

Behaviour

Small ground mammals make up about 65% of the diet, but snakes, lizards, small ground birds, insects, and road-kill are also taken. Typically, the raptor drops on its prey after 'hanging' on an updraft, from a hover, or from a perch.

Call: A loud, yelping 'keeooow', similar to the call of the Black-backed Jackal.

Breeding: They build a 1-metre wide stick nest in a tree or on a crag; it is often reused and enlarged in subsequent seasons. 2 creamy or bluish white eggs are laid and incubated by the female only; food is brought to her on the nest by the male. The eggs hatch in about 40 days, and after a further 56-60 days they can attempt flight. At 70 days they become independent of the nest, but young birds may then be seen with the adult pair for some time.

References

Claassens A & Marais E. 2008. Species information page - Jackal Buzzard. SASOL Bird e-Guide. http://www.birdlife.org.za/fieldguide/book/species_info.php?id=96. Downloaded 25 January 2008.

Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ & Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Robert's Birds of Southern Africa, 7th edition. John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa. ISBN 0620340533

External Links

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