Jackal Buzzard

Jackal Buzzard


Profile Jackal Buzzard
[Authority] Forster, 1798 | [group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo rufofuscus | [UK] Jackal Buzzard |

[Authority] Forster, 1798 | [group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo rufofuscus | [UK] Jackal Buzzard | [FR] Buse rounoir | [DE] Felsenbussard | [ES] Busardo Augur meridional | [NL] Jakhalsbuizerd | copyright picture

copyright: Boustanji

The adult South African Jackal Buzzard is strikingly plumaged. It is almost black above with a chestnut tail. The primary flight feathers are blackish and the secondaries off-white, both barred with black. Below the chin and around the throat is mainly white, and the rest of the underparts and the underwing coverts are rich rufous. The flight feathers from below are white, tipped with black to form a dark trailing edge to the wing. The juvenile Jackal Buzzard is mainly brown above and rufous brown below and on the tail. It can be confused with wintering Steppe Buzzard, but has broader wings and an unbarred undertail.

Occurs in hilly or mountainous country in dry steppe, highveld grasslands, and farming areas, especially in areas where there are rocky outcroppings for perching and nesting. Prefers areas of low human density and extensive small-stock farming

Preys on insects (termites), small reptiles, mammals, and birds. Carrion, including road-killed springhares, mongooses, and hares, and dead sheep also form a large percentage of the diet. Hunts regularly from the wing, soaring or kiting in search of prey, and then parachuting to the ground to capture prey.

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Breeds from late winter to early summer throughout its range, and most clutches are started in August and September. Builds a large stick nest, which is often placed on a rocky cliff face, less often in a tree. Nests are re-used in successive years. Clutch size is 2 eggs. Both chicks occasionally survive, but more often one is lost as the result of cainism. Both adults incubate for about 6 weeks, with the female doing most. The young fledge after about 7 to 8 weeks. At 70 days they become independent of the nest, but young birds may then be seen with the adult pair for some time.

Irruptive or local migrant, with juveniles dispersing from breeding areas. It has been assumed that adults are largely sedentary and rarely leave established territories, but that immatures make frequent nomadic movements, some more than 500 km, possibly in response to fluctuations in the availability of rodent prey


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 130 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 135 cm
  4. size min.: 45 cm
  5. size max.: 55 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 37 days
  8. incubation max.: 43 days
  9. fledging min.: 50 days
  10. fledging max.: 53 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 1
  13. eggs max.: 3
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Jackal Buzzard status Least Concern


  1. Morphnus rufofuscus
  2. Buteo rufofuscus
  3. AF s
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