Order: Accipitriformes

Family: Accipitridae

Scientific name: Pernis ptilorhynchus, Temminck, 1821

IUCN Red list status- Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Crested Honey Buzzard is also known as Oriental Honey Buzzard.
  2. Crested Honey Buzzard got the name to its high affinity towards Honey as food.


Crested Honey Buzzard is 50-70 cms long and weighs 750-1300 Gms. The females are larger than males and weigh 950-1500 Gms. The male bird is long-necked with grey face, two black tail bands, three black under wing bands and brown iris. The tail is long and darker with a white band. The back is brown and the under parts are paler. Female has brown face and upper parts, three back tail bands and four narrower black under wing bands and yellow iris.


Crested Honey buzzard birds feed on honey, bees, wasps, cicadas, larvae of bees etc. They have high affinity towards honey eats bits of honeycomb and honey. They don’t care the resistance and small attacks done by the bees. They also feed lizards, snakes, small mammals and birds etc. The forage time is mainly day and it is done mainly solitarily.


Crested Honey Buzzard species inhabit evergreen forest, semi ever green forests, deciduous forests, wooded countries, hills, plains etc of various climatic types. In India, it is distributed throughout the union except Northwest, Northeast and southeast India. They are also found in Sri Lanka and some areas of Bangladesh.

Reproductive Behaviour

The breeding season Crested Buzzard starts from March. They are generally monogamous. The mating display includes wing-clapping. The nest is constructed by both birds and will be placed in top of tall trees. Normally two eggs are laid. Both parent birds share the incubation of 30-35 days. When the young one comes, they are also cared by both parents


Call is a high pitched screaming whistle “wheew”.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus).
  • Barred Honey Buzzard (Pernis celebensis).
  • Philippine Honey Buzzard (Pernis steerei).
  • Pernis ptilorhynchus ruficollis of Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka
  • Pernis ptilorhynchus palawanens of West Philippines.
  • Pernis ptilorhynchus torquatus of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Migratory Behaviour

Common Resident