Black Honey Buzzard (Henicopernis infuscatus)

Black Honey Buzzard

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Henicopernis infuscatus | [authority] Gurney, 1882 | [UK] Black Honey Buzzard | [FR] Bondree noire | [DE] Bismarckweih | [ES] Abejero negro | [NL] Zwarte Wespendief


Monotypic species


The genus Henicopernis, together with the genera Aviceda, Pernis, Leptodon, Chondrohierax and Elanoides, form the subfamily Perninae which lack the os supraorbitale, a bony shield projecting above the eye that is present in hawks. Henicopernis consists of only two species. Henicopernis does not cluster with Gypaetus and Neophron, but seems to belong to an old endemic Australasiatic lineage standing somewhere between the Gypaetus/Neophron lineage and Buteo. Morphological similarities may be explained by convergent evolution of specific characters in adaptation to similar functions under
similar environmental conditions.

Physical charateristics

Large, heavily barred, forest raptor. Almost black with conspicuous white bands on flight and tail feathers. Usually seen in flight when long tail and long wings with bulging secondaries and broad wing-tips are distinctive

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 48 cm size max.: 50 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Australasia : New Britain


It is usually recorded gliding over primary hill forest to a maximum of 1,300 m. There are few records from logged or otherwise degraded forest, but its habitat requirements are poorly known


No data

Feeding habits

Its feeding ecology may be similar to that of H. longicauda which hunts above or within the canopy for arthropods, lizards, birds and birds’ eggs


This species is considered Vulnerable on the basis of a small estimated population which is suspected to be declining through rampant lowland forest loss, owing to primarily to conversion to oil palm. However, basic biological data on the species, and an assessment of its tolerance of logged forest, is urgently needed to further inform this assessment.
Nearly all lowland and hill forests on gentle gradients on New Britain have been logged or are under logging concessions, and large areas have been subsequently converted to oil-palm plantations. However, much of this species’s habitat is on steep slopes and montane forest which is not suitable for logging. These striking birds are likely to be shot opportunistically as trophies and for meat1. Hunting has rendered H. longicauda scarce in some areas of New Guinea
Black Honey Buzzard status Vulnerable



Distribution map

Black Honey Buzzard distribution range map

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