birdsBuzzardsWild Birds

White-eyed Buzzards

White-eyed Buzzards (Butastur teesa)

The White-eyed Buzzards (Butastur teesa) is a medium-sized hawk found in South Asia.


A small greyish-brown hawk, about 45cm long, the White-eyed Buzzards has a white throat, two dark cheek stripes, brown and white underparts, and orange-yellow cere. Eyes white or yellowish-white, conspicuous at close quarters.

A whitish nuchal patch and buffish wing shoulders provide additional clues to its identity.

Sexes look alike.

Habits: Usually occur singly, in open scrub country.Affects dry open country and thin deciduous forests; and avoids humid and densely-wooded tracts. Rather sluggish.

Perches on dry trees, telegraph posts, etc., and swoops down on its prey. Often in company with larger birds of prey, the silhouette, of the rounded wings is reminiscent of the Shikra.

Calls / Vocalizations

A not unpleasant, plaintive mewing, usually uttered when pairs soar in circles high up in the air.


The drier parts throughout India up to about 1000 m in the Himalayas (scarce in the southern peninsula); Pakistan; Bangladesh; and Myanmar. Not Sri Lanka.

Resident, but also moves locally.


White-eyed Buzzards (Butastur teesa)
White-eyed Buzzards (Butastur teesa)

Locusts, grasshoppers, crickets and other large insects as well as mice, lizards and frogs.


Season: principally February to May. Nest: a loose, unlined cup of twigs like that of a crow up in the fork of a thickly foliaged tree such as mango, preferably one in a grove.

Eggs-3, greenish-white broad ovals of a fairly smooth texture. Both sexes share nest-building and feeding young; the female alone incubates.


  1. BirdLife International (2004). Butastur teesa. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  2. Grewal, Bikram; Bill Harvey and Otto Pfister (2002). Photographic guide to birds of India. Periplus editions / Princeton University Press. p. 203
  3. Ali, Salim; J C Daniel (1983). The book of Indian Birds, Twelfth Centenary edition. Bombay Natural History Society/Oxford University Press.

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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