HONEY BUZ­ZARD

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The Honey Buz­zard is a rare breed­ing bird in the UK, with fewer than 70 breed­ing pairs (though more pass through on pas­sage to and from Scan­di­navia). One of the rea­sons for the UK be­ing on the ex­treme of the Honey Buz­zards is that their diet largely con­sists of lar­vae of colo­nial wasps and bees, which are in rel­a­tively short sup­ply in the UK. This diet is also the source of the ‘Honey’ part of the bird’s name, though honey is not what th­ese birds of prey are search­ing for when they rip open bees’ nests. They have rel­a­tively weak bills and feet with long toes and claws adapted for dig­ging and tear­ing at in­sects nests, of­ten on the ground. Oth­er­wise, in size, gen­eral shape and plumage, it is quite sim­i­lar to the Buz­zard (hence that part of the bird’s name), though is in fact more closely re­lated to the kites.

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