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Aves Bird of the week - Jackal Buzzard - Buteo rufofuscus -

The Jackal Buzzard - Buteo rufofuscus - is a strikingly plumaged bird of prey. 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.

It occurs in much of South Africa, South west Namibia and Botswana and generally prefers hilly or and mountainous areas with short vegetation.

Jackal Buzzards feed mainly on small ground mammals, supplemented with birds, snakes and lizards. They do most of the hunting in the air, once it spots prey it stoops to catch the prey on the ground, occasionally a bird flying. It also scavenges at carcasses, especially in winter if food is scarce.

A territorial solitary nester, building a large stick nest in a tree or on a crag, that is often reused and enlarged in subsequent breeding seasons. The nest is built by both male and female. Two 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.

This striking bird of prey can be seen on the following Aves Tours/Safaris/Adventures: -

Aves Arid Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves Eastern Cape Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves Highlands / Tembe Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves KZN Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North East Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North West Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves Western Cape Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves West Coast Tour / Safari / Adventure.



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