Members of the genus Buteo are broad-winged, broad-tailed hawks, Well adapted for soaring. The bill, legs and talons are of average proportions. There is much colour variation both within the species, and, by way of phases, within individual species. In all cases the young are quite different from adults in that they are all well camouflaged with an overall brown appearance with varying amounts of striping below and paler mottling above.
The 25 species are spread worldwide with the exception of Australasia and much of the Indian sub-continent.
10?12 narrow, dark bands; subterminal broadest + no pale horseshoe usually solid and dark brown,
contrasting rather strongly with the coverts, but less so than in B. rufinus. Brown upperparts and pale underparts, which are barred and blotched brown on the breast, belly and underwing-coverts. Individual plumage variation in both adult and juvenile plumages is less than in any of the other members of the B. buteo superspecies, as might be expected in an insular taxon. In adult plumage the brown upperparts are relieved only by pale bases to the outer primaries, which form a diffuse but noticeable panel. The uppertail is narrowly barred as it is in most B. b. buteo and some B. b. vulpinus. In socotraensis, nevertheless, the pale greyish tail, often showing a gingery hue, especially distally, has 10?12 narrow, dark bands, with the subterminal the broadest. Below socotraensis is white (very slightly tinged buff) with fine brown streaking on throat and heavier dark brown streaking on the breast, belly, flanks and thighs, becoming most solid. The warm brown
/ chestnut-brown underwing-coverts in socotraensis are rather irregularly streaked and chequered dark brown, most intensely on the greater coverts. The large carpal patch is solid dark brown. The variation in the strength or intensity of these underbody and underwingcovert markings is slight (Figs. 7?8). Some individuals possess a whiter throat, upper breast and thighs. The underside of the primaries and secondaries is similar to that of the other Buteo taxa, showing a wide dark band on the hindwing typical of adults.
|wingspan min.:||110||cm||wingspan max.:||125||cm|
|size min.:||43||cm||size max.:||49||cm|
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laying. Fully-fledged young, still with a strong parental bond, have been observed from mid February to early April. All the above observations suggest that the breeding season extends from September?April, with egg laying in September?January. It is probably important for this buzzard to have completed its breeding cycle before the onset of the monsoon winds in late May, which could hamper its ability to hunt and find food for the young. Broods of only one or two nestlings have been recorded on single occasions, but there is one record of a pair with three fledged young, indicating that clutch size can be larger. The few nests observed have been constructed of sticks on a cliff-ledge or crevice, sometimes with a tree, small bush or vegetation for protection or support.
Live branches with leaves have been observed being brought to the nest. No tree nests have been reported. Nests have been noted at 150?650 m. There is no information on the role of the sexes in nest building or incubation, both have been observed tending young in the nest and are present during the post-fledging period. There is a record of repeated attacks on an Egyptian Vulture by a pair of buzzards, when their nest was approached, and another observer reported an adult becoming agitated by a Peregrine Falcon near a possible cliff nest site.
never been observed feeding on carrion. Clarification of its diet will be an important factor in guaranteeing its survival.