Crested Honey Buzzard

Getting closer…

I noticed Albert had posted about a Crested (Oriental) Honey Buzzard on Facebook. He saw it in record breaking one day count of nearly 180,000 Honey Buzzards. Well worth learning from his experience, just in case they get closer to NW Europe:

Hi Martin,

Some words about the Crested Honey Buzzard of two days ago on station 1 (Sakalvasho, near Batumi in Georgia). I am here for the first year as a volunteer, helping with the counting. More info about the project:

Crested Honey Buzzard seems to occur more and more in the (Asian) Middle East, e.g. Israel had in the last winter about 90 birds (!). I don’t know exact numbers, but I expect that they can easily be found on the web. And I remember a publication about hybrid Crested x European in Dutch Birding in 2010.

The bird we had on the 4th of September showed up in a mixed stream of Honey Buzzards and Booted Eagles. The first impression is always: ‘hé, a Short-toed Eagle?’, something that more experienced counters told me already before the observation.

More precisely: this bird seems to be an adult female, but I am still figuring out if it can be a 1cy: see also here  You will hear more about it…
Note the broad hand with a prominent p6, the heavy-look in combination with a small-looking head, the two barrings reaching the belly, the irregular pattern in the primaries (cf. EHB), the lack of the carpal patch and overall plain appearance.

Best regards,

Albert de Jong

Albert was here:


What to look for on Crested Honey Buzzard:


About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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3 Responses to Crested Honey Buzzard

  1. Batumi sounds like a “must-visit” place.. the numbers of birds they are seeing are simply staggering. After my visit to Laotieshan, northeast China, last autumn I wrote a post on “Variation in Oriental Honey Buzzard” which can be seen here:
    I agree that the bird posted by Albert is probably an adult female. With reasonable views, Oriental (Crested) should be relatively straightforward to identify in a Western European context.

  2. Yesterday the first Crested HB ever for Batumi in spring! Found on May 4th by Pietro, Andrea, Massimo, Stefano, Davit! Spring turns out to be as crazy as autumn!
    Picture can be found on our facebook-page:

  3. There seems to be consensus that this bird was a hybrid crested x eurasian. Both Andrea Corso and Dick Forsman point to this option. A more detailed discussion (including some other cresteds) can be found here:

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