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Home » Information » Augur Buzzard in Uganda (“Buteo augur”)

Augur Buzzard in Uganda (“Buteo augur”)

Augur Buzzard

What to Know About Augur Buzzard in Uganda?

The Augur Buzzard in Uganda is one of the African Uganda Birds seen during birding safaris in Uganda. The augur buzzard is a 55–60 cm long, Wingspan: 132 cm and Weight: 1100-1300g African bird of prey.

The taxonomy on this species is confusing, with some taxonomists considering this species, the jackal buzzard, and the Archer’s buzzard to be the same superspecies.

Many taxonomists consider them all to be distinct, having different calls, different home ranges and variations in plumage.

This is a species of mountains (most typically at about 2000 m altitude, but up to 5000 m), and adjacent savannah and grassland. It is resident and non-migratory throughout its range. It is normally found in Uganda.

How Does the Augur Buzzard in Uganda Look Like?

This is a large buzzard with short, rounded tail and broad wings, with very broad secondaries. It is often seen perched in open, on rocks, mounds or trees. This species exhibits two different plumages, with dark and normal morphs.

The adult has dark grey, almost black upperparts. The flight feathers are black with pale grey bars mainly on secondaries.

The tail is rufous with faint dark grey bars. The underparts are white, including the underwing-coverts, but the carpal patch is black.

The flight feathers are white with indistinct black barring and broad black tips.

The head is dark grey. The male shows white chin and throat, whereas the female has dark grey head, chin and throat, the latter with more extensive black markings.

Both sexes are almost similar, but the female is slightly larger than male.

The juvenile is brown above and buffy-white below, with dark streaking on throat and breast. The tail is rufous-brown, narrowly barred darker brown.

The Augur Buzzard in dark morph has black body and underwing-coverts. The flight feathers are white with black barring and broad black tips.

The tail is rufous. the bill is black with yellow cere. The eyes are reddish-brown. Legs and feet are yellow.

How Does the Augur Buzzard in Uganda Sing and Make Calls?

The Augur Buzzard gives harsh “a-kow a-kow a-kow a-kow” during the flight displays. The male’s calls are usually higher-pitched than those of the female.

This species can be noisy outside the breeding season too. It calls with loud yelping notes from perch or in flight. The most frequent calls are ringing, far-carrying “guang-guang”.

How Does the Augur Buzzard in Uganda Feed?

The Augur Buzzard feeds mainly on reptiles (lizards and snakes), rodents and mole-rats, small birds, insects and carrion.

It hunts from perch, rock or tree, where it spends much time while waiting for preys. But it also hunts on the wing by soaring, hovering or gliding.

It descends slowly on the prey once detected. It may hunt by walking or hopping on the ground, and is able to perform strong hunting on larger animals such as hares, hyrax and gamebirds.

It hunts in forest or woodland, but also in more open areas.

How Does the Augur Buzzard in Uganda Nest?

The nest is built by both sexes. It can reach a diameter of 100cm. It is placed in tree but not in the crown, and more often on cliff ledge, between 7 and 15m above the ground.

The nest is typically made with sticks, and lined with green leaves. It is reused in consecutive years, but usually, the pair has two or three alternative nests.

How Does the Augur Buzzard in Uganda Breed?

Like in numerous birds of prey, the display flights are spectacular. The aerial displays include several acrobatic postures in flight such as parachuting, stooping and diving.

Both mates perform the typical “talon-grappling”, a common display in raptors. This behavior is accompanied by calls.

During the breeding season, the Augur Buzzard is very territorial and strongly defends its area.

How Does the Augur Buzzard in Uganda Reproduce?

The laying period varies depending on the range, but spreads over all months. The female lays 1-3 (usually 2) unmarked creamy eggs, or with red-brown or grey-mauve spots and blotches.

Both adults share the incubation during 39-40 days, with turns of 1-2 hours. At hatching, the chicks are covered in pale grey down.

The female feeds them with food items brought by the male. Usually, only one chick survives, because the elder chick kills the younger sibling. The young fledge between 48 and 60 days after hatching.

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