Mountain Buzzard (Buteo oreophilus)

Mountain Buzzard

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo oreophilus | [authority] Hartert and Neumann, 1914 | [UK] Mountain Buzzard | [FR] Buse montagnarde | [DE] Bergbussard | [ES] Busardo montanes | [NL] Kaapse Bergbuizerd


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Buteo oreophilus AF e


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 have a darkish grey head with a blueish cere. It has a large white patch on belly large spotted brown on flanks. Belly mottled brown-light brown. Tail broadly barred black brown-grey and legs yellow white.

Listen to the sound of Mountain Buzzard

[audio: Buzzard.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 43 cm size max.: 48 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 45 days fledging max.: 55 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Africa : East


Occurs in patches of hilly and montane forests, including exotic plantations. In Malawi, it is confined to montane rainforest, and it does not feed in open grassland outside the forest


Bulds a stick nest placed in the upper fork of a large forest tree usually lined with green leaves. The clutch size is 2 eggs which are incubated for an unknown period. Young fledge after about 7 weeks.

Feeding habits

Feeds on small mammals, reptiles, and insects. which it captures by gliding down from an exposed perch. Has been recorded hunting bats at caves in Uganda

Video Mountain Buzzard


copyright: Josep de Hoyo


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 small, 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.
Has a patchy distribution, but is apparently common in areas where there is extensive habitat (Hartley 2000). Threatened in some areas by habitat loss and fragmentation. Categorized globally as a species of “Least Concern” by BirdLife International, but its actual status requires further study
Mountain Buzzard status Least Concern


In South Africa apparently breeds only in winter-rainfall area of S Cape Province, and moves N along Drakensberg escarpment to Natal and Transvaal in winter. No movements described for E Africa.

Distribution map

Mountain Buzzard distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *