756. Honey Buzzard.
Pernis apivorus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 130 (1766) ; (Naum.), i. p. 367, Taf. 35, 36 ; Hewitson, i. p. 40, pl. xv. ; Gould, B. of E. i. pl. 16 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. i. pl. 9 ; Newton, i. p. 121 ; Dresser, vi. p. 3, pls. 364, 365, 366 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 344 ; Saunders, p. 339 ; Lilford, i. p. 21, pls. 11, 12 ; P. a. orientalis, Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 50.
Buse boudree, French ; Aguila de Moros, Span. ; Falco pecchia-juolo, Ital, ; Wespenbussard, German ; Wespendief, Dutch ; Hvepsevaage, Dan. ; Hvepsehog, Norweg. ; Bivrak, Swed. ; Mehilaishaukka, Finn. ; Osojed, Mishelovka-pchelojadnaya, Russ. ; Khabas el grain, Moor.
Male ad. (Germany). Crown and sides of head pale ashy blue, nape brownish ; upper parts dark earth-brown, the back tinged with grey ; quills tipped with blackish brown ; tail greyish brown with dark brown bands ; under parts white, the sides of the breast blotched with brown ; bill blackish horn ; cere yellowish at base, otherwise blackish ; edge of gape, legs, and iris yellow. Culmen 1.35, wing 15.8, tail 11.0, tarsus 2.0 inch. The old female has the head and nape brown, the throat buffy white striped with dark brown, and the rest of the under parts white, broadly and closely barred with deep brown. The young bird has the head and neck white, slightly marked with dark brown ; upper parts dark brown varied with white ; under parts white, the breast with dark shaft stripes ; another specimen is almost uniform dark chocolate-brown.
Hab. Europe generally, north to Lapland, hut rarely ; southern and central Scandinavia ; Great Britain ; North Africa in winter.
In general habits it differs from the true Buzzard, is a slighter bird, and has a comparatively longer tail. It feeds almost exclusively on insects, chiefly on the larvae of wasps and bees, but is said by Naumann to feed on buds and vegetable matter in the spring and to plunder other birds’ nests. Its call- note is a shrill kee, kee, kee, but as a rule it is a silent bird Its nest is placed in a tree and is constructed of sticks, lined with fresh green foliage. The eggs, 2 to 3, rarely 4, in number, are deposited late in May or in June, and are white so richly blotched with rich reddish brown that the ground-colour is obscured ; or else marbled with reddish brown on a rich fox- red ground, and measure about 2.3 by 1.64.
756. Pernis apivorus
756. Honey Buzzard.