|Copyright: Zahoor Ahmed (zahoor_salmi)
|Date Taken: 2012-03-06|
|Camera: Canon 40D, 400f5.6 L|
|Exposure: f/5.6, 1/800 seconds|
|Details: Tripod: Yes|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2012-03-08 7:41|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus), is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, eagles and harriers.|
Despite its name, this species is more closely related to kites of the genera Leptodon and Chondrohierax than to true buzzards in the genus Buteo.
It is a summer migrant to most of Europe and western Asia, wintering in tropical Africa. It is a specialist feeder, living mainly on the larvae and nests of wasps and hornets, although it will take small mammals, reptiles and birds. It is the only known predator of the Asian giant hornet. It is thought that Honey Buzzards have a chemical deterrent in their feathers that protects them from wasp attack. The specific name apivorus means "bee-eater", although bees are much less important than wasps in its diet.
The European Honey Buzzard breeds in woodland, and is inconspicuous except in the spring, when the mating display includes wing-clapping. Breeding males are fiercely territorial.
The 52–60-centimetre-long (20–24 in) Honey Buzzard is larger and longer winged, with a 135–150-centimetre (53–59 in) wingspan, when compared to the smaller Common Buzzard Buteo buteo. It appears longer necked with a small head, and soars on flat wings. It has a longer tail, which has fewer bars than the Buteo buzzard, usually with two narrow dark bars and a broad dark sub-terminal bar.
The sexes can be distinguished on plumage, which is unusual for a large bird of prey. The male has a blue-grey head, while the female's head is brown. The female is slightly larger and darker than the male.
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