Crested Honey Buzzard
Pernis ptilorhynchus

– slightly larger than Common Buzzard
– very rare but regular migrant in the Middle East, vagrant to the rest of WP
– diurnal migrant
– in Asia migrates singly or in loose flocks
– can be mixed with other raptors at migration bottlenecks


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., 2CY
BIF1701, 02/03/2017, Kaziranga, India, Mathias Putze
light morph
– different from European Honey Buzzard due to much broader wings with finer and more bars
– missing carpal patch


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., 2CY
BIF1702, 02/03/2017, Kaziranga, India, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1701
– eagle-like impression
– contrast between secondaries and inner primaries
– dark eye-mask


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., 2CY
BIF1703, 02/03/2017, Kaziranga, India, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1701
– note lack of streaking of breast and belly -> European Honey Buzzard


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., 2CY
BIF1704, 19/02/2017, Patang, Bhutan, Mathias Putze
cinnamon morph
– typical JUV underwing and tail pattern
– unlike AD s-shaped trailing edge due to bulging secondaries and narrow hand
– this plumage is very similar to JUV -> Bonelli’s Eagle, but note missing dark GC band, different tail pattern and more distinct barring of remiges


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., F AD
BIF1691, 02/03/2017, Kaziranga, India, Mathias Putze
dark morph, growing outer 2 primaries giving an unusual pointed-winged impression
– narrow, irregular barring of remiges
– F with yellow eye


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., F AD
BIF1692, 02/03/2017, Kaziranga, India, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1691, dark morph moulting
– narrower trailing edge to the wing
– browner upperside than in M
– inner hand slightly paler than the rest of the wing


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., F AD
BIF1693, 02/03/2017, Kaziranga, India, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1691, dark morph moulting
– brown head not grey as in M


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., F AD
BIF1694, 02/03/2017, Kaziranga, India, Mathias Putze
light morph, growing outer 3 primaries, giving an even more pointed-winged impression than in BIF1693
– missing carpal patch -> European Honey Buzzard


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., F AD
BIF1695, 03/03/2017, Kaziranga, India, Mathias Putze
intermediate morph, possibly ssp. ruficollis
– typical eagle-like silhouette, with evenly broad wings with squarish hand and long fingers


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., F AD
BIF1696, 03/03/2017, Kaziranga, India, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1695
– tail pattern resembles M European Honey Buzzard


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., M AD
BIF1697, 19/02/2017, Patang, Bhutan, Mathias Putze
– smallish head with dark eye
– very broad black banding of tail


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., M AD
BIF1698, 19/02/2017, Patang, Bhutan, Mathias Putze
dark morph, growing 2 outermost primaries result in an unusual pointed-winged impression
– barring of wings broader and more regular than in F


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., M AD
BIF1699, 19/02/2017, Patang, Bhutan, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1698
– typical M tail pattern
– broad trailing edge to the wing larger gap to next dark wing-band


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., M AD
BIF1700, 02/03/2017, Kaziranga, India, Mathias Putze
– grey head with dark eye


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., M AD
BIF1705, 19/06/2016, Mongolia, Mathias Putze
cinnamon morph, with missing central tail feathers
– this morph does not exist in AD European Honey Buzzard


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., M AD
BIF1706, 19/06/2016, Mongolia, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1705
– typical male underwing pattern with only 2 bars plus broad trailing edge on secondaries


Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus ssp., M AD
BIF1707, 19/02/2017, Patang, Bhutan, Mathias Putze
dark morph
– broad, eagle-like wings and tail pattern with 2 broad black bands make it unmistakable!

voice: usually nonvocal during migration

comparison species:
European Honey Buzzard (v)
Bonelli’s Eagle (v)

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