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Red-necked Buzzard - BirdForum Opus

Photo by UlfL
Just ouside Niamey, Niger, September 2007
Buteo auguralis


Photo by nkgray
Zogota, near N’Zérékoré, SE Guinea, April 2010

35-40 cm, a mid-sized buteo.

  • Chestnut head and neck
  • White-streaked with brown underparts, some birds with all-brown breast
  • Red tail
  • In flight rounded head, broad round-tipped wings and mid-length tail

Sexes similar, females are larger and heavier than males. Juveniles are more uniform brown.

Similar species

Smaller than similar Augur Buzzard and found in different habitat.


Found in Africa from Guinea and Sierra Leone east to Sudan, South Sudan and western Ethiopia and south to DR Congo and northwestern Angola.
Outside breeding season also farther north into Sahel zone.
Common in its range.


This is a monotypic species.


Forest edge, woodlands, secondary forest and farmland. Breeds in more wooded areas and spends non-breeding time in more open country.
Occurs from sea-level up to 2500 m.



Feeds on small animals. Known to take rodents, snakes, lizards, chameleons, small birds, crabs and frogs. Takes also arthropods.
Perches for long periods in the open on a pole or a dead tree and takes most of its prey from the ground. Recorded hawking insects above bush fires.


Breeding seasonfrom January to May in western and northeastern Africa. The nest is a platform made of sticks and leaves, placed high in a tree, 10 to 30 m above the ground. Nests sometimes on a cliff ledge and nowadays on pylons (especially in Ghana). Lays 2-3 eggs.


In West Africa moves south in late September to early November after the rainy season to breed along the forest edges. Moves back north again from March to May into drier areas. Forms small groups or even larger flocks during migration. Movements in central and north-east Africa not well studied.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved December 2014)

Recommended Citation

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