Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon)


French: Bondrée à plastron German: Schwarzbrustmilan Spanish: Milano pechinegro
Other common names: Black-breasted Kite

Buteo melanosternon


, 1841,

interior of New South Wales, Australia




Australia; absent or very rare in S & E.

Descriptive notes

51–61 cm; 1150–1450 g; wingspan 141–156 cm. Adult has mostly black body, short tail and white patches in wings. Distinguished from related Lophoictinia... read more


Usually silent, even in aerial courtship. During interactions with other species and in vicinity of... read more


Arid to semi-arid woodlands, savannas, grassy plains and des­erts of tropical N and arid C... read more

Food and feeding

Mammals, birds, reptiles, carrion, and occasionally large insects; prefers young rabbits, nestling birds (including those of other raptors... read more


Jun–Jan, usually Sep–Dec. Solitary, but sometimes nests near raptors of other species; usually monogamous but one record of... read more


Poorly understood; apparently some resident and some migratory populations. Breeding birds... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Global population estimate is 1000–10,000 individuals. Generally uncommon and has declined in SE of range from forest... read more

Recommended citation

Debus, S., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).