18 August 2020

New! A Taxidermied European honey buzzard

(Pernis apivorus Linnaeus, 1758)

The European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus Linnaeus, 1758) is a diurnal bird of prey of the hawk family. It is a medium-sized bird with a wingspan of about 1.2 m. Distributed in most of Europe and the west of Asia, in the east - to Altai. Most common in the middle and southern taiga. However, the bird is quite rare. The name derives from the fact that the bird destroys wasps nests and eats their larvae. It can also feed on the larvae of bumblebees or wild bees, as well as on frogs, lizards, rodents, beetles, grasshoppers, small birds.


The bird is distinguished by a relatively long tail and narrow wings. On the forehead and around the eyes, short, hard, scale-like feathers preventing wasps from stinging the honey buzzard when it destroys their nest. In adult birds, the dorsal side is dark brown, the ventral side is very variable in color: from monochromatic brown to light with a brown transverse pattern or with rare dark brown lengthwise strokes. Flight feathers are brownish with blackish tips, whitish bases, and dark transverse stripes. Tail feathers with three wide dark transverse stripes. There are monochromatic brown birds as well. The iris is yellow or orange. The beak is blackish, the legs are yellow, the claws are black. Young birds often have a light-colored head and light spots on the back. It makes sounds like "kii-e" or rapid "ki-kiki". It usually flies low, the flight is light and maneuverable.

This rare bird died in the Leningrad region and was brought to the museum by the veterinarian M.V. Markina.

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