Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Grey-faced Buzzard (Butastur indicus)


French: Busautour à joues grises German: Amurteesa Spanish: Busardo carigrís
Other common names: Grey-faced Buzzard-hawk, Frog Hawk

Falco indicus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,



Forms a species-group with B. rufipennis, B. teesa and B. liventer. Monotypic.


NE China to Amurland and Ussuriland, Japan and Izu Is. Winters from S & SE China and Taiwan through Indochina and Malay Peninsula to Greater Sundas, Philippines, Sulawesi, N Moluccas and, rarely, on islands off NW New Guinea.

Descriptive notes

41–48 cm; male 375–433 g; wingspan 101–110 cm. Mid-sized, long-winged, kite-like hawk; white throat with dark mesial streak; head greyish-brown; pale... read more


Main call described as a peevish, whistled "whick-awee" or "pik-wee".


Wooded areas adjacent to open country, e.g. pastures, peat bogs; often near water, e.g. marshes,... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly frogs, snakes, lizards, rodents, insects (e.g. cicada nymphs) and possibly birds. Often hunts from perch, typically at top of dead... read more


Nest building from late Mar–Apr, by both sexes; laying from mid-Apr–late May. Fairly small nest of twigs, built in tree,... read more


Migratory; flocks of thousands of birds sometimes gather. In Thailand, 14,962 southbound migrants... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Size and trends of populations very poorly known. Not uncommon in Japan, nor perhaps in Ussuriland, where distances of 4... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Grey-faced Buzzard (Butastur indicus). 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 27 February 2020).