Madagascar Buzzard (Buteo brachypterus)

Madagascar Buzzard

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo brachypterus | [authority] Hartlaub, 1860 | [UK] Madagascar Buzzard | [FR] Buse de Madagascar | [DE] Madagaskarbussard | [ES] Busardo Malgache | [NL] Madagaskarbuizerd


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Buteo brachypterus AF Madagascar


Members of the genus Buteo are broad-winged, broad-tailed hawks, Well adapted for soaring. The bill, legs and talons are of average proportions. There is much colour variation both within the species, and, by way of phases, within individual species. In all cases the young are quite different from adults in that they are all well camouflaged with an overall brown appearance with varying amounts of striping below and paler mottling above.
The 25 species are spread worldwide with the exception of Australasia and much of the Indian sub-continent.

Physical charateristics

Adults come in diferent variations but head dark-grey and large white patch on belly. Tail broad barred brown-blackish. Upperparts dark brown, under belly and thighs spotted black with a light brownish wash.

Listen to the sound of Madagascar Buzzard

[audio: Buzzard.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 48 cm size max.: 51 cm
incubation min.: 28 days incubation max.: 35 days
fledging min.: 42 days fledging max.: 49 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


Africa : Madagascar


Occurs in a wide range of habitats, including forests, open woodland, and secondary habitats with scattered trees. Highly adaptable and occurs in some degraded habitats, but less common on the deforested central plateau. Spends much time perching in a large or dead tree


Builds a stick nest placed in the upper fork of a large forest tree, palm, or on a cliff ledge. Nests are often lined with fresh sprigs of green leaves. Clutch size is usually 2 eggs. This species exhibits siblicidal behavior, so usually only one chick is fully rasied. Incubation lasts 4-5 weeks, the young fledge after about 6-7 weeks.

Feeding habits

An opportunistic hunter, feeding on a wide variety of prey, including rodents, small and medium-sized birds, snakes, lizards, amphibians, terrestrial crabs, and invertebrates. Feeds mostly by descending on small vertebrate prey from a perch, but occasionally soars overhead.

Video Madagascar Buzzard


copyright: Helmut Schenkel


This species has a very 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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not 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.
Madagascar Buzzard status Least Concern


Irruptive or local migrant, but most individuals are probably sedentary.

Distribution map

Madagascar Buzzard distribution range map

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