19 Black-Breasted Buzzard Facts You’ll Never Forget

Black-breasted buzzard facts about large raptors endemic to Australia.

Buzzard is defined as a vulture especially a turkey vulture and also as a hawk-like bird species. They are also considered to be a type of a large raptor. It is also called as a large dark raptor. In north america these species are a vulture is considered a vulture, a hawk a hawk and a buzzard a vulture while in other parts of the world vulture is a vulture, hawk is sometimes considered a buzzard and buzzard is a hawk. Buzzards are symbolism of death and destruction in certain cultures. Black breasted buzzard is also known black breasted kite with a short square tail.

Black breasted buzzard hamirostra melanosternon are carnivorous and feed on meat based diet. Distribution the black breasted buzzard is primarily seen in south, northern, central and western australia and they are seldom seen in other regions. Black breasted buzzard hamirostra melanosternon reside in grasslands, savannas and desert.  Their unique identifying feature is as their name suggests is their their black breast and they are covered with feathers all round. This article will analyze some fun and interesting facts are these unique beings. For more such relatable content check out these cliff-swallow facts and hyacinth macaw facts.  

Black-Breasted Buzzard

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Rabbits, Birds, Large Lizards

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2 eggs

How much do they weigh?

Females 2.932 lb (1330 g) Male 2.636 lb (1196 g)

How long are they?

How tall are they?

1.67- 2.00 ft. (51-61 cm)

What do they look like?


Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Car Accidents, Removal of Nesting Trees

What is their conservation status?

Least concern

Where you'll find them

Grasslands, Savannas, Semi-Arid, Deserts







Scientific Name

Hamirostra melanosternon





Black-breasted buzzard interesting facts

What type of animal is a black-breasted buzzard?

The black-breasted buzzard is a bird that belongs to the kingdom Animalia and order Accipitriformes.  

What class of animal does a black-breasted buzzard belong to?

The black-breasted buzzard is a type of bird that belongs to class Aves, family Accipitridae, and genus Hamirostra.

How many black-breasted buzzards are there in the world?

The global black-breasted buzzard population is estimated between 1000-10,000 individuals. They have been majorly affected by felling of nesting trees in the east and by car accidents. They are seen in Australia.

Where does a black-breasted buzzard live?

Australia's black-breasted buzzard range occurs in trees, grasslands, savannas, semi-arid desert, and tree-lined watercourses. These species are endemic to regions in northern, central, and western Australia. They are known as a bird of prey and rarely seen in other parts of the world owing to their population size.

What is a black-breasted buzzard's habitat?

They live in grasslands, savannas, deserts, and tree-lined watercourses. A black-breasted buzzard in a dead tree is a common sight. Black-breasted buzzards build nests in trees lined with green leaves where they lay their young ones to protect them from possible predators. They can survive in semi-arid to desert conditions as well since they absorb their nutrients from their prey and helps them survive in drought-like conditions without much effort.

Who do black-breasted buzzards live with?

Australia's black-breasted buzzards are solitary birds however, they do come together while migrating in groups of 20 birds. Pairs mate together for life and are territorial beings defending their territory throughout all situations.  

How long does a black-breasted buzzard live?

The black-breasted buzzard's average lifespan is eight years. Most of them die of starvation before they reach maturity at the age of three. The oldest buzzard that lived was 25 years and four months.

How do they reproduce?

Breeding occurs in most of the range which they inhabit. Adult breeding pair formed mate together for life. Nests are built during the rainy season built up of dry sticks, and smaller sticks on top. usage of sticks is rare among other species of birds. The sticks help give a strong foundation for the young ones to reside in. their breeding nests are then lined with green leaves and built on trees, unlike ground nesting birds. The female and males mate and lay two eggs per litter. Both parents may be involved equally in breeding and raising the young. The young may be raised individually as well. Incubation period lasts 40 days where the juveniles develop feathers. A unique feature of these birds species is that they use stones to open eggs or dropping a stone until the egg breaks. The egg looks similar to an emu egg.

What is their conservation status?

These Australian bird's conservation status is classified as least concern by the international union for conservation of nature (IUCN). these species are species endemic to regions in Australia.

Black-breasted buzzard fun facts

What do black-breasted buzzards look like?

Black-breasted buzzard's wings stick out when they are at rest and are sandy brown in appearance.

They are mostly dark with certain white patches. White bullseye marks are seen under its wings. They have rufous feathers. They usually fly high and fly low only when hunting for prey. Their facial features are similar to that of an eagle or a hawk and have a sharp beak and dark colored eyes. Females tend to be larger in size as compared to male species. They have a sandy brown and black in the dark phase appearance.

How cute are they?

This bird is considered a bad omen in various cultures owing to its description and symbolism throughout the years. Black-breasted buzzards are not exactly cute in appearance, however, they are majestic and exotic species of birds. Juveniles once they hatch from their eggs in the nest are extremely cute however they are seldom seen out in the open.

How do they communicate?

The black-breasted buzzard is usually silent and communicates when it's near its nest. They communicate primarily via soft piping and yelping. They also communicate with their mates.

How big is a black-breasted buzzard?

Black-breasted buzzards are around 1.67- 2 ft (51-61 cm) tall which is ten times bigger than the Hawaiian-hawk, which is 1.31-1.50 ft. (40-46 cm).

How fast can a black-breasted buzzard fly?

Black-breasted buzzards have good flight speeds similar to other species like Peregrine falcons, eagles, hawks, and others. They fly in high altitudes for most part and fly low when they are searching for prey. Their flight their tail is short. Their tail is short square tipped and use their tail to balance their flight.

How much does a black-breasted buzzard weigh?

Black-breasted buzzard females weigh 2.932 lb (1330 g) and males weigh 2.636 lb (1196 g). Females tend to be larger in size as compared to males.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of the species are not addressed differently they are more or less similar in appearance but vary in size and reproductive functions. Removal of their nesting trees may affect their populations.

What would you call a baby black-breasted buzzard?

A baby black-breasted buzzard is referred to as a juvenile or a nestling. As an egg, their shell resembles that of an Emu egg. emu eggs break open only when stones are used. Its hard shell does not break open easily. The young are dependant on their parents in until the end of the incubation period post which they develop wings and become independent. They may be raised independently as well.

What do they eat?

They primarily kiss their prey by attacking them using their claws and biting. They are quick and skillful at hunting their prey. These species consume rabbits, birds, and large monitor lizards, and other smaller-sized non-venomous species as food. They also consume already dead meat. Feeding on food occurs in regular intervals specifically when the mothers are pregnant. They can survive in semi-arid to drought-like conditions as well and mostly feed on food at ground level.

Are they poisonous?

No, these species are not poisonous however, they may attack if approached. This large dark raptor is rarely seen near human settlements and more near semi-arid regions on dead trees hence the negative associations in certain cultures.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they are innately wild birds hence they cannot be adopted as pets.

Did you know...

There are no vultures in Australia. A deadly disease pushed them to extinction in 1993. Australia and Antarctica are the only two places where there are no vultures. Other birds of prey in Australia include eagles, hawks, and falcons.

When in flight the buzzard holds its wings in a shallow 'V and its tail is fanned out.

The wedge-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey and found in southern new guinea. They are also seen in parts of south australia. In regions like South Australia and others hunting them is banned.

The habit of breaking the egg open is not a taught habit but something that occurs innately in them and they do it instinctively as they grow up to be an adult.

The little eagle, Hieraaetus morphnoides, is a small eagle native to australia. Their habitat constitutes of woodlands, grasslands and arid regions.

Are black-breasted buzzards endangered?

No, these species of animals are not endangered however, their populations have been estimated to decline this is primarily due to loss of habitat and  lack of appropriate food for them to feed on. nesting trees in the east to may have impacted their population by reducing the places where they can seek appropriate shelter. Yes, they can die of hunger in some instances although they are birds of prey. Another major reason is accidents where they are hit by cars passing by when they feed on the road.

How do you identify a black-breasted buzzard?

Identification of the black-breasted buzzard has a black breast as its name suggests and these species have rufous feathers. They are endemic to australia hence if you are in the region native to the species its likely that you can spot them easily. They are often compared to vultures as in many cultures they are considered to be bad omens similar to vultures who are often associated with death. You could visit inland Australia and other arid regions where these species are endemic to see them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including palm-warbler facts and Amazon parrot facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable birds coloring pages.



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