There are some indications of past declines in Sweden and current declines in the Finnish and German populations, while the French population is slowly increasing. The honey buzzard is a large bird of prey, similar in appearance to a common buzzard. A greater understanding of the species habits and behaviour during the breeding season is a critical step towards effective conservation of one of Britain’s rarest and least-known breeding raptors. Honey Buzzard, dark phase. The honey buzzard is often one of the last species to return to the UK during spring, often flying over Gibraltar and the Bosporus Straits. Honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) identification guide. Their beaks tend to be short and chunky with a hooked tip. The nest sites of British breeding birds are usually kept secret to protect them from egg collectors. The honey buzzard is a large bird of prey that is similar to the buzzard.
The honey buzzard was not affected by the pesticide-related declines that affected most birds of prey in the 1950s and 1960s, presumably because its food-chain was less contaminated.

Photo Evan Landy.

They also have long claws which have adapted to dig for prey. The Honey-buzzard remains a rare breeding bird in Britain, although the national population is now thought to be in the region of 100-150 pairs. It has got broad wings and a long tail. There are very few breeding pairs in the country, all restricted to undisturbed woodland with open glades. It is only a summer resident in the UK, wintering in tropical Africa. Identifying features, nesting and feeding habits, call, and where to see them in the UK. Pernis apivorus.

Honey buzzards have thin necks and relatively long wings and tails. Despite its common name, Honey Buzzard is not a true buzzard (Buteo) but is one of a small group of birds of prey that feed predominantly on grubs and adults of wasps, bees and other invertebrates.Due to their diet they do not have overly developed beaks and, whilst the beak is the typical shape of a raptor, it is weak. Behaviour. The plumage is very variable across all ages - typical adults are greyish-brown on its upperparts and whitish underparts.