Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)


Socotra Buzzard (Buteo socotraensis)


French: Buse de Socotra German: Sokotrabussard Spanish: Busardo de Socotora

Buteo socotraensis

Porter and Kirwan

, 2010,

Hadibu Plain, north Socotra


Although known for more than 110 years, this population was not named until 2010#R, having often been assumed to be referable to B. buteo. It is genetically closest to Cape Verde race bannermani of that species and to B. rufinus, but differentiated morphologically from both, sharing morphological features mainly with Afrotropical B. oreophilus. Contrary to some earlier statements, morphological and morphometric similarities between present species and Azores race rothschildi of B. buteo thought to be due more likely to phylogenetic relationship than to convergent adaptation to dry-country habitat (Azores presenting an extremely wet environment, rather than a dry one). Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

c. 50 cm; 500–1000 g. A small to medium-sized buzzard with relatively short, compact wings. Has crown and upperparts brown, upperwing with pale panel at base of outer... read more


High-pitched mewing calls, “peeeoo”, very similar to those of its close relatives.


Inhabits foothills and plateaux, mostly where deep ravines exist; appear not to be dependent on... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Diet thought to comprise reptiles and invertebrates; possibly also nestlings and some carrion. Hunts mainly from perch... read more


Season Oct–Apr/May; egg-laying mainly Oct–Jan. Displays include, especially, aerial tumbling and talon-grappling. Nest made... read more


Resident. No evidence of movements away from Socotra.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Socotra EBA. Found only on the main island of Socotra, where it is widespread but not common. Population estimated to be... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J. (2019). Socotra Buzzard (Buteo socotraensis). 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 May 2019).