Black-Breasted Buzzard: The Ultimate Guide

The Black-breasted Buzzard is an animal that is a raptor that is native to Australia. Like a lot of buzzards, this animal is a very keen hunter, able to scope out prey from many miles away.

You can be sure that this bird has one of the best sights that you can find, with razor-sharp claws that can tuck into prey quickly and easily.

This bird is known for cracking the eggs of other birds and drinking whatever is inside. You can be sure that this creature is a versatile hunter, able to take all manner of food from its surrounding environment.

This black-breasted buzzard has a great wingspan, giving it the power to hover in the air for long hours at a time, using this as a vantage point to scan for prey.

This bird has a short and square tail, which gives it stability and allows it to hover on the breeze.

But where can you find this bird in the wild? What does it eat and how often? Are these birds prone to attack humans? Where do these animals live for most of the year?

What predators affect these birds? How long does your average black-breasted buzzard live for? What does their mating call sound like?

Well, if you want to know everything about this buzzard and a whole lot more, then we would suggest that you read on. We have everything that you need to know about this buzzard, from breeding habits to eating patterns and how long it will live.

When you are done with this animal, you’ll want to tell all your friends.

Appearance

This is considered to be a moderately-sized eagle, somewhere between the small-tailed breed and the much larger eagle. You might notice this eagle in flight as it has a large wingspan compared to the size of its body.

This adult buzzard is very striking in appearance, with thick white panels near the tips of the wings. However, the body of this creature is largely dark brown in appearance. This dark plumage is broken up by mottled red across the body of the creature.

When the birds are younger, they have pale brown feathering, which will eventually transition into a darker brown as they get older. You can always notice a juvenile buzzard in that it will be a lot smaller with a shorter wingspan.

Male Vs Female

This species of bird is sexually monomorphic, in that there is very little difference between the males and the females.

However, you’ll notice that the female lets out a very drawn-out wheezing call when they are searching for a mate to help them build a nest, search for food and take care of the chicks.

Are They Aggressive?

These birds are only really aggressive to the prey that they kill. These animals will generally avoid attacking humans and livestock.

The myth that they do kill chicken and poultry in local farms is perpetuated to keep numbers of these birds down, giving the locals an excuse to poach them.

What Adaptations Do They Have?

Black breasted buzzard

These birds, like a lot of buzzards, have developed hooked talons that will enable them to get their claws into prey, especially when they are carrying them large distances.

This buzzard also has a hook in the back of the talon which will allow them to tear apart their prey, allowing them to rip out their spinal cord.

This also has a hook in the beak that will allow them to make short work of larger prey such as rabbits, squirrels and lizards.

The young buzzards have developed a call that they use to ask their parents for food. It is a very shrill and high-pitched call that has a slight wheeze to it.

Breeding/reproduction Behaviour

This buzzard often forms a pair bond and it will usually mate for life. This bird will usually mate in the high trees, which means that their eggs will not be that subject to predators.

The nests are constructed from bare branches, with the creatures lashing them together to form a solid nest.

These nests can be very large, allowing space for the eggs and both the parents. The female will usually lay the eggs around August through to October, which is the standard mating season for these creatures.

The mating season is said to be stimulated by longer days and increased rainfall. A clutch of eggs will usually be around 2 eggs, laid over 8 – 13 days, which are then incubated for a further 32 – 38 days.

This male will often be seen tending the nest, while the female goes out and searches for food.

Their Calls/Sounds

The common call of this animal is usually a very hoarse yelping, heard as a small and sharp yap or yelping. These adult females have much shorter and more wheezing calls, which they usually use to attract a female.

The male will then help with the nest building, as well as finding food and generally raising the chicks.

The juvenile birds will often have their distinctive high-pitch call, which they will use to summon the parents to the nest to give them food. They do this almost every day to get enough calories.

What Do They Eat (Diet)

The black-breasted buzzard gets a variety of foods constantly, from small reptiles and mammals to the eggs of other birds. This buzzard is known as the egg cracker and will often be found tapping its way into the eggs of other raptors.

This creature will usually hunt around creeks and motorways, also taking to dirt track roads to find animals that have been left exposed by the weather. It will often glide or dive when it is hunting, covering plenty of ground in one single swoop.

It will often be found in unconcealed perches in the trees, looking for prey to eat. It is renowned for using stones to crack the eggs of other birds. This way it can get into the delicious yolk using its beak.

Where Do They Live (Habitat)

These animals are usually found in the inlands of Australia, where there is less rainfall and plenty of tree coverage. You will not find the buzzard in wetter climates such as Victoria or Tasmania, as they do not like how humid the environment is.

This will also be found in open habitats, surrounded by mid-dense shrubland and taller trees. You can also find it in river bed gum.

What Are Their Nesting Habits

These birds will often build large and very high nests up in the tall trees. This is very important for keeping their chicks safe and also for accommodating the larger size of the birds in general.

How long Do They Live (Lifespan)

The average lifespan of this buzzard, as with most buzzards of this species, will be around 8 years. In the wild, the oldest living buzzard was around 24 years old.

What Predators Do They Have

These birds do not have any predators in the wild, although they are reported to have been killed by humans from time to time. A common cause of death for this animal is getting hit by a car as it is grazing for food at night.

What Are Their Feathers Like

They usually have downy brown feathers on their body, with dark brown feathers on the breast (hence their namesake). They have lighter brown on the wings and whiter feathers on the tips.

What Does Their Poop Look Like

This bird’s poop is stringy and white and can often be found suspended from the trees under its nest.

Do They Migrate

These birds generally do not migrate, although they are less active in the winter seasons. You can expect to see this bird at its most active in the autumn season when the rain is consistent but the climate is not too wet.

Conservation Status

The total population of this bird is considered to be around 1000 – 100,000 birds and is not listed as a species of concern by the Australian government. This species has declined greatly with the introduction of settlers during the 1700s.

Another big killer of this species is the toxins that have been introduced to its environment over the years, mainly by humans. This comes from being ingested through the river water through which these toxins are released.

Fun Facts

These birds will often mate for life, finding a mate in early adolescence and sticking with them for years and years.

The nests of these creatures are often replenished with fresh and leafy branches, which has been thought by experts to be how they get rid of bacteria from the nest.