Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Near Threatened

Mountain Buzzard (Buteo oreophilus)


French: Buse montagnarde German: Bergbussard Spanish: Busardo montañés

Buteo oreophilus

E. J. O. Hartert and Neumann

, 1914,

Koritscha, Ethiopia


Closely related to B. buteo (with B. japonicus and B. refectus) and perhaps B. brachypterus, and possibly also to B. jamaicensis and B. ventralis; in one major genetic study, however, association with B. brachypterus not supported#R. Has been considered conspecific with B. buteo, genetic differentiation from which difficult to establish#R. Until recently, considered conspecific with B. trizonatus, which differs from present species in having unstreaked vs streaked chin and throat (2); plain white band across breast vs all-streaked breast (2); weaker (non-existent) terminal tailband (2); plain white vs dark-spotted undertail-coverts (ns[1]); rufous tones in various parts of plumage including back and tail, tarsal feathering and wing-coverts (ns[1]); slightly smaller size (effect size for bill −1.94, score 1)(see further published details#R#R). Monotypic.


Highlands of Ethiopia S, patchily, to Tanzania and Malawi.

Descriptive notes

41–48 cm; c. 700 g; wingspan 102–117 cm. Rather small buteo, above dark brown, below whitish with large brownish blotches; thighs barred with brown and rufous;... read more


Main call a loud plaintive mewing squeal, “peeeoo-peeeoo”, similar to B. buteo but... read more


Frequents extensive montane forest, mainly from 2000–3800 m and occasionally up to at least... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Reported to take small mammals (including bats), birds, reptiles and insects. On Mt Kilimanjaro, observed eating eggs... read more


Little published information. Nesting reported Mar–Sept in Uganda, Mar–Jun and Sept–Dec in Kenya. Soars and calls above... read more


Considered sedentary, with no evidence for elevational movements among seasons.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Reported to be common in areas of most extensive habitat (Rwanda). Vulnerable because of limited and... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Mountain Buzzard (Buteo oreophilus). 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).