Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Buzzard (Buteo brachypterus)


French: Buse de Madagascar German: Madagaskarbussard Spanish: Busardo malgache

Buteo brachypterus


, 1860,



Closely related to B. buteo and perhaps B. oreophilus, and possibly also to B. jamaicensis and B. ventralis; association with B. oreophilus, however, not supported in one major genetic study#R. Has been considered conspecific with B. buteo. Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

40–48 cm; 342–680 g (two unsexed birds); wingspan 93–111 cm. Medium-sized, variable buteo; most individuals have greyer head than somewhat similar African... read more


Main call a loud, nasal, plaintive and over-slurred squeal, “yaAAah”, lasting c. 1–1·5 seconds,... read more


Uses all types of forests and woodlands, from dense rainforest to open woodland, spiny forest, palm... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly small vertebrates such as frogs, lizards, snakes, rodents and small birds, but also crabs. Hunts mainly from a prominent perch.... read more


Laying occurs in Sept and Oct, fledging in Dec and Jan. Stick nest lined with green leaves and placed in high fork of tree, such as a... read more


None recorded.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. The most common forest raptor and third commonest raptor overall on Madagascar, on basis of road counts of one bird every... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Madagascar Buzzard (Buteo brachypterus). 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 19 January 2020).