Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Sulawesi Honey-buzzard (Pernis celebensis)


French: Bondrée des Célèbes German: Celebeswespenbussard Spanish: Abejero de Célebes
Other common names: Barred Honey-buzzard

Pernis cristatus var. celebensis


, 1868,



Until recently, considered conspecific with P. steerei, which has been elevated to full species because of its longer crest (at least 1); narrower dark and broader pale tailbars (although terminal dark bar similar) (2); whitish to tan-buff breast with sparse broad blackish streaks vs rufous breast with more extensive blackish streaks (2); and pale rufous-and-white vs chocolate-and-white barring on lower belly and abdomen (2). Molecular evidence has been interpreted as supporting this split#R. Monotypic.


Sulawesi, Muna I, Butung I and Banggai Is; observations of a Pernis species on Flores may pertain to this species#R.

Descriptive notes

50–58 cm; wingspan 110–125 cm. Typical honey-buzzard, with flat talons and lacking supraorbital ridge. Brown above with dark crown; whitish throat and buffy chest... read more


Seldom heard. Described as two-note, high-pitched, voice-cracking call resembling that of curlew... read more


Widespread in primary and secondary forest, and forest edge, and even partially cleared areas from... read more

Food and feeding

Little studied. Feeds on bees and other hymenopterams and their larvae, honeycombs and occasionally birds. Hunts from perch in forest and... read more


Poorly known. A clutch of eggs was collected in early May, and a female ready to lay was shot in late Sept. Display flight involves talon... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Status poorly known; global population size has not been estimated according to BirdLife International. Reported to be... read more

Recommended citation

Clark, W.S., Kirwan, G.M. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Sulawesi Honey-buzzard (Pernis celebensis). 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).