(Last Updated on : 14/09/2015)
White-Eyed Buzzard, an Indian bird
bearing a scientific name "Butastur teesa
", is a medium sized hawk, distinct from the true buzzards in the genus Buteo, found in South Asia.
Structure of White-Eyed Buzzard
The adult White-eyed buzzards have a rufous tail, a distinctive white iris, and a white throat bearing a dark mesial stripe bordered. The head is brown and the median coverts of the upper wing are pale. They lack the typical carpal patches on the underside of the wings seen in true buzzards but the entire wing lining appears dark in contrast to the flight feathers. They sit upright on perches for prolonged periods and soar on thermals in search of insect and small vertebrate prey. They are vociferous in the breeding season and several birds may be heard calling as they soar together.
Identification of White-Eyed Buzzard
This slim and small sized White-Eyed Buzzard belongs to hawk family and has an easy identification. It is easily identified by its white iris of the eye and the white throat and dark mesial stripe. A white spot is sometimes visible on the back of the head. When the wing tip perched nearly reaches the tip of the tail. The ceres are distinctly yellow and the head is dark with the underside of the body darkly barred. In flight the narrow wings appear rounded with black tips to the feathers and the wing-lining appears dark. The upper wing in flight shows a pale bar over the brown. The rufous tail is barred with a darker subterminal band. Young birds have the iris brownish and the forehead is whitish and a broad supercilium may be present. The only confusion can occur in places where it overlaps with the grey-faced buzzard, adults of which have a distinctive white supercilium. The fledgling of White-eyed buzzards are reddish brown unlike most other downy raptor chicks which tend to be white.
Concentration of White-Eyed Buzzard
White-Eyed Buzzard is widely distributed in South Asia, throughout India in the plains and extending up to 1000 m in the Himalayas
. It is a resident in Iran, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and has been recorded in Indonesia.
It is absent from Sri Lanka and is probably absent from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
. It is a summer visitor in north eastern Afghanistan. It is mainly found in the plains but may go up to 1200m in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountain Range.
Breeding Season of White-Eyed Buzzard
The breeding season of White-Eyed Buzzard is from February to May. The nest is loose platform of twigs not unlike that of a crow, sometimes placed in a leafless tree. The usual clutch is three eggs, which are white and usually unspotted. Both sexes share nest-building and feeding young; female alone incubates for about 19 days until the eggs hatch.