Long-winged Harrier (Circus buffoni)

Long-winged Harrier

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Circus buffoni | [authority] Gmelin, 1788 | [UK] Long-winged Harrier | [FR] Busard de Buffon | [DE] Weissbrauen-Weihe | [ES] Aguilucho de Azara | [NL] Buffons Kiekendief


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Circus buffoni SA n, ec, se


The genus Circus is a cosmopolitan genus of about ten species. They are medium-sized, slender hawks, the female being considerably larger than the male. They are characterised by long, narrow, rounded tails, small beaks and long, slender legs. The most notable characteristic is the owl-like ruff of facial feathers that cover unusually large ear openings – an adaptation not for low-light hunting, but to locate prey by their rustling and squeaking in tall grasses.

Physical charateristics

A typical harrier with dihedral (V-shape) flight. With long wings and a white body, occurs in a dark and light morph (see picture). Normal head and back are black, with white throat and supercilium (eye stripe). Below white with black breast band, underwing dark grey with black wing tips. Upperwing grey, female is like male but brown above. Legs and feet yellowish.

Listen to the sound of Long-winged Harrier

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/ACCIPITRIFORMES/Accipitridae/sounds/Long-winged Harrier.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 48 cm size max.: 56 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


South America : North, Eastcentral, Southeast


Lowland tropical zones, wet areas like marsches, open fields, rice fields and savanna.


Nest in grassland on the ground in rushes. 3-4 eggs are laid. No further data.

Feeding habits

Small birds, frogs, reptiles and mammals.

Video Long-winged Harrier


copyright: J. del 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 may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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.
The Long-winged Harrier is distributed from venezuela the Guianas (and Trinidad) to North Argentina and Central Chile. In Suriname a definite breeder although a nest has never been found. Observed over rice fields and wet fields in the coastal region.
Long-winged Harrier status Least Concern


Migratory, at least in southernmost populations, insufficient data to assess status (resident, migratory or wintering) throughout Brazilian distribution. Birds in North South America were thought to be all migrants from South, but breeding record from Trinidad suggests that others may breed in appropriate habitat in this region. Records from Pacific slope in Colombia and Chile suggest species may occasionally cross Andes. Occasional visitor to Tierra del Fuego, recently recorded on Falkland Islands.

Distribution map

Long-winged Harrier distribution range map


Title Long-Winged Harrier Predation on Wattled Jacana Eggs
Abstract: Long-winged Harriers (Circus buffoni) prey on smal..[more]..
Source: Wilson Bulletin: Vol. 91, No. 3

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