Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus) with a taste for flowers   9 comments

Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus) with a taste for flowers

Its Saturday and I was out early in the morning – well before day break. The aim was to reach this place called Jaipurdoddi, on the outskirts of Bannerghatta National Park in Bangalore. I had never been to this place before so I turned on my google maps for guidance and started off expectantly.

The journey itself was un eventful, though the road cuts through the National Park and people have had close encounters with elephants on this road. No such luck for me today. Now the Bangalore weather is also a bit tricky at the moment – its quite pleasant in the night and on some mornings you get to see dews as well; but the day gets pretty hot quickly. So one needs to wrap up all birding action by 9:30 AM.

I scoured the place and saw some common birds like Purple Sunbirds, Babblers, Red Wattled Lapwings, Indian Robins a plenty but no real joy of sighting a new bird. As I started on my way back, I saw two Oriental Honey Buzzards in the sky. I got down to try my hand at Bird in Flight photography. They were not flying very high, so got a few decent snaps and then I suddenly saw them diving down. I immediately crossed the road and followed through the trees and shrubs in that general direction. As I came into a bit of a clearing, I saw this juvenile OHB sitting atop a tree in front of me. I literally crawled my way close, climbed up a few rocks and then slowly got up and took this photo. Its a different matter that by the time I was done, I had a tough time finding my way back to where I had parked my car 🙂

OHBs are raptors but unlike some of its ferocious cousins, they have fairly weak beaks and have a small head that resembles a pigeons head. Unlike most raptors, the males and females are easy to distinguish for this species. Males have blue grey heads while females have brown colour heads. They have a small black crest and the males have black tails with a white band.

They get their names from their fondness for raiding bee hives to eat larvae. And given their overall weak structure, the juveniles have been bestowed with a plumage like that of the much stronger Crested Hawk Eagle. This helps in keeping other birds of prey at bay when the juvenile is growing up.

This one was a pretty confident bird and remained busy admiring the flowers while I crept closer. And thanks to it a not so exciting morning had a happy ending

9 responses to “Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus) with a taste for flowers

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  1. great post, great information and awesome shot, well done !

    • Thanks Kelly for the kind words and for stopping by. I greatly like the URL of your blog. Hoping that one day everyone will join to save this wonderful world.

  2. What a stunning bird…great capture!

  3. Good capture! And Great Adventure!
    BTW, I too captured male and juvenile OHBs in flight @ Kanakpura during the weekend.

  4. The click is just splendid! A person like you with a keen eye for wildlife should spend at least a day near the national park. You’ll find innumerable opportunities for clicking pics. I suggest you stay at Bannerghatta Nature Camp , mainly for the fact that the staff have great local knowledge.

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