Alternative name: Japanese Buzzard
- Buteo japonicus
42–54 cm (16½-21¼ in)
Compact with broad wings; usually dark brown above and pale below with small bill and feet. Adults typically have head paler than upperparts; underparts off-white with dark brown patches on sides and lower chest contrasting with pale belly. Sexes similar but females average larger.
Juvenile is more heavily streaked below.
Nominate race largest.
Three subspecies recognized.
- B. j. japonicus from Lake Baikal area and northern Mongolia east through Amurland and northeast China to Sakhalin, Japan and the southern Kuril Islands, winters from Korea and Japan to south and southeast Asia
- B. j. toyoshimai on Izu Islands and Bonin Islands
- B. j. oshiroi on Daito Islands (status uncertain, probably extinct)
Variable, but usually a mix of treed and open terrain from sea-level to at least 1300 m elevation.
Poorly studied. Breeds on Honshu in April–July, the nest is a large twig platform built 6–20+ meters off the ground in pines (Pinus spp.) or other large trees. Clutch is 2-4 eggs.
Poorly known. A variety of animal prey reported, including mammals up to size of hares (Lepus) and birds as large as pigeons.
Partial migrant. The most northern breeding populations winter in more southerly areas.
Main call is a descending two-note scream or cry that may be harsh or rather plaintive, usually given in aerial display.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Brazil, M. (2018) Birds of Japan. Helm Field Guides.
- del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Marks, J.S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Japanese Buzzard (Buteo japonicus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/467356 on 2 May 2019).
- Global Raptor Information Network. 2019. Species account: Eastern Buzzard Buteo japonicus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 2 May. 2019.
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Eastern Buzzard. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 13 April 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Eastern_Buzzard