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Grasshopper Buzzard - BirdForum Opus

Photo by wim de groot
The Gambia, January 2005
Butastur rufipennis


35–44 cm (13½-17¼ in); an elegant long-winged raptor

  • Small headed
  • Long legged


Sub-Saharan Africa: widespread from Senegal and Gambia east to Ethiopia and south Somalia and south to southern Tanzania.

Undertakes northward movements to breed in wet season (April-September) and south in dry season (October-March).

In East Africa moves south in wet season (November-December). Common in much of range.

Photo by nigelblake
Georgetown/Bansang, Gambia, December 2002


This is a monotypic species[1].


Open woodland and savanna, cultivated land and often attends grass fires.


A confiding raptor


Their diet includes large insects, especially grasshoppers.


Mostly silent, except in the breeding season when utters a loud "ki-ki-ki-ki-keee" call.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2014)
  3. BF Member observations

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