Upland buzzard

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The upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These upland buzzard species are distributed in Asia and north Indian subcontinent.

Taxonomy of Upland buzzard

  • Scientific Name: Buteo hemilasius
  • Common Name: Upland buzzard
  • French: Buse de Chine; German: Mongolenbussard; Spanish: Busardo mongol;
  • Other names: Mongolian buzzard;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Temminck & Schlegel, 1844
Buteo hemilasius is considered closely related to B. rufinus.

Birds of India - Image of Upland buzzard - Buteo hemilasius
Birds of India - Image of Upland buzzard - Buteo hemilasius


The upland buzzard is a large bird of prey, measuring 65 to 70 cm in length and weighing 1,000 to 1,400 grams. The female buzzard is larger than the male and weighs 1,000 to 2,000 grams. The wingspan is 140 to 160 cm. There are pale and dark morphs. The pale morph has whitish head, nape and underparts. The upper breast and abdomen are marked with irregularly distributed large brown spots. The dark morph is completely dark brown. The bands in the tail are prominently dark. The call is a prolonged mewing sound.


The upland buzzard inhabits open country, grass lands, cultivated lands, steppes, plateaux, rocky areas and mountain slopes.

Feeding habits

The upland buzzard feeds mainly on small mammals, birds, lizards and insects. It hunts by hovering and spotting the prey. It also hunts on the ground.


The upland buzzard breeds between April and August. The nest is built on crags and ledges of cliffs. The nest is built with sticks and lined with twigs.


The upland buzzard is distributed in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, China, Russia, Mongolia, Japan, North Korea and South Korea. In the Indian subcontinent, it is distributed in Pakistan, north India, Bhutan and Nepal.

Movement Patterns

The upland buzzards are mostly migratory, the northern populations moving southwards for wintering.

Status and conservation

The upland buzzard species have a very large range and are considered least vulnerable. The global population is estimated to number more than 10,000 individual birds. Habitat degradation and depletion of prey animals are the main threats to the survival of these bird species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these buzzard species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Buteo hemilasius
Species:B. hemilasius
Binomial name:Buteo hemilasius
Distribution:Asia and north Indian subcontinent;
Feeding habits:small birds, small mammals, lizards and insects;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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