Birds of PreyThe Sport of Falconry

Black-breasted Buzzard aka Black-breasted Kite

Black-breasted Buzzard

The Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon) – also known as Black-breasted Kite – is a large bird of prey.



It has a wingspan that ranges between 440 and 500 millimeters, with females being larger than the males.

The adult plumage is mostly dark with distinctive white patches on the wings at the bases of the primary feathers.pic genus Hamirostra.



The Black-breasted Buzzard occurs naturally in Australia, where it is mostly found in the northern and central parts of the continent. They inhabit deserts, dry grasslands, shrublands, sparse tropical woodlands and tree-lined watercourses. It is not found in Tasmania.


Diet / Feeding

Black-Breasted Buzzards feed on rabbits, large lizards, other birds and carrion. It will also raid the nests of ground-nesting birds, breaking large eggs by hurling stones against them with its large beak and then eating the contents. (see photo below).



They nest in trees, often along watercourses, building a platform of sticks with a central leaf-lined depression for the clutch of usually two eggs.

The incubation period is about 40 days. The young fledge when they are about 60 days old.


Black-breasted kite using stone as a tool to open up EMU egg

Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon), or Black-breasted Kite

Immature Black-breasted Buzzard

Black-breasted Buzzard

Black-breasted Buzzards - Pair

Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon), or Black-breasted Kite

Black Breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon)

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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