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There is no better place in the world to have a holiday than South Africa. For independent information, advice and facts about going on holiday to South Africa visit www.southafricaholiday.org.uk

SOUTH AFRICA HOLIDAY: BUZZARDS

Buzzards, although similar to eagles, are generally smaller and have unfeathered legs. Plumages are very variable making identification difficult. Their flight is laboured with much soaring but little hovering. South Africa provides excellent opportunities to see five species of Buzzard.

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Forest Buzzard

Afrikaans: Bergjakkalsvoel
Xhosa: Ihlathi isangxa
The plumage is variable but less so than that of the similar, migrant Steppe Buzzard. The amount of white on the breast and belly varies, with some individuals showing a totally white throat, breast and belly. A common plumage is a white band across the breast distinctly demarcating the dark brown upper-parts.
Habitat: Prefers evergreen forests and forest edges. Found in a narrow strip from the Kruger National Park to Cape Town.

Honey Buzzard

Afrikaans: Wespedief
Xhosa: Ubusi isangxa
Like the Steppe Buzzard, which it resembles, the Honey Buzzard is very variable in colour, but differs by having two broad black bars at the base of its tail, and is more slender in appearance with a smaller, more compact head.
Habitat: An annual but rare summer visitor to the north-east of South Africa, it is found mostly in woodland.

Jackal Buzzard

Afrikaans: Rooiborsjakkalsvoel
Xhosa: Udyakalashe isangxa
Very dark plumage with bright chestnut breast and barred black and white belly. In flight the jackal Buzzard vaguely resembles the Bateleur but the longer, rust-coloured tail and more flapping flight action eliminate confusion.
Habitat: Generally confined to mountain ranges and adjacent grasslands throughout South Africa. Common in suitable habitat.

Lizard Buzzard

Afrikaans: Akkedisvalk
Xhosa: Icilikishe isangxa
Larger and bulkier than the similar Gabar Goshawk, the Lizard Buzzard has a white throat with a black line down the centre, a white rump and a broad white tail stripe.
Habitat: May be seen in the north east of South Africa.

Steppe Buzzard

Afrikaans: Bruinjakkalsvoel
Xhosa: Isithabazi esingenamithi isangxa
South Africa Holiday: Steppe BuzzardPlumage colouration of the Steppe Buzzard varies from pale brown through to almost black. It is generally darker below than the Forest Buzzard, and occurs mostly in different habitats.
Habitat: A common and widespread summer visitor to open country, avoiding desert and well-wooded regions. Not found in the central and western parts of the Northern Cape. Frequently seen perched on telegraph poles along roads.
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