Grey-faced Buzzard (Butastur indicus)

Grey-faced Buzzard

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Butastur indicus | [authority] Gmelin, 1788 | [UK] Grey-faced Buzzard | [FR] Busautour a joues grises | [DE] Kiefernteesa | [ES] Busardo Carigris | [NL] Grijskopbuizerd


Monotypic species


Members of the genus Butastur are medium-sized hawks, with long and pointed wings, and a medium length tail. The bill is rather weak, the basal portion and cere being brightly coloured. The legs are relatively short and reticulate, with a row of larger scales down the front. The colour pattern is subdued, rufous brown, grey and whitish. The young are not very different from adults. Butastur is found in Africa and tropical Asia. The four species form a super-species; though there may be some overlap between two of them. One nests in Japan and north Asia, but is highly migratory.

Physical charateristics

A medium sized raptor (46 cm) with a grayish head and face, a white throat with a dark mesial streak and a white supercilium. The back and upper breast are brown, the lower underparts are whitish barred with brown. The tail bears three wide black bands. The iris, cere, legs and feet are yellow. Juveniles are generally paler and are streaked brown on the breast.

Listen to the sound of Grey-faced Buzzard

[audio: Buzzard.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 44 cm size max.: 47 cm
incubation min.: 31 days incubation max.: 34 days
fledging min.: 34 days fledging max.: 39 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


Eurasia : East


Open woodland and scrub up to 1,500m. Often occurs near rivers and paddyfields on passage


Nesting sites were occupied in March and annual reoccupancy was 60%. Grey-faced Buzzards built new or repaired old nests in late March, it is made out of twigs and sedge usually build high above ground. Eggs are laid in early April, with laying peaking in late April. Clutches are 3-4 eggs, incubated for about 33 days predominantly by the female, to whom the male brought prey. After young hatched, the female also began hunting. The mean brood-rearing period was 38 days, males fledged at a mean age of 35 days and females at 39 days.

Feeding habits

It is a bird of open land. It eats lizards, small mammals and large insects.

Video Grey-faced Buzzard


copyright: Josep de Hoyo


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Grey-faced Buzzard status Least Concern


It breeds in far eastern Russia, northern China, Korea and Japan wintering
in South-East Asia and Indonesian Archipelago to New Guinea. It is a passage
migrant and winter visitor at low elevations south to Singapore.

Distribution map

Grey-faced Buzzard distribution range map

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