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Buteo trizonatus (Forest buzzard) 

Bosjakkalsvoėl [Afrikaans]; Kaapse bergbuizerd [Dutch]; Buse forestičre [French]; Bergbussard [German]; Bśtio-da-floresta [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Falconiformes > Family: Accipitridae > Genus: Buteo

Buteo trizonatus (Forest buzzard)  Buteo trizonatus (Forest buzzard) 
Forest buzzard, Nature's Valley, Western Cape, South Africa. [photo Duncan Robertson ©] Forest buzzard, Nature's Valley, Western Cape, South Africa. [photo Duncan Robertson ©]

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, occurring from the Limpopo Province south to KwaZulu-Natal and down the coast to the Western Cape. It generally favours afromontane forest and plantations of alien trees, such as Eucalyptus and pines (Pinus).

Distribution of Forest buzzard in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Movements and migrations

Little known, although it is likely that it is a partial migrant, as it is mainly recorded in north-eastern South Africa in the period from June-August.


It mainly eats mammals, birds and reptiles, doing most of its hunting along the edge of or in the forest, pouncing on prey from a perch. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • Little known, it is thought to be a monogamous, territorial solitary nester.
  • The nest is a stick platform with an interior cup, lined with green leaves of Ironwood (Olea capensis), Candlewood (Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus), currants (Rhus) and pines (Pinus). It is typically placed in the fork or lower branch of a tree in the forest interior, especially pines but also indigenous trees such as Small-leaved yellowwood (Afrocarpus falcatus).
  • It lays two eggs in the period from August-November, peaking from September-October.
  • The older chick is aggressive to its younger sibling, preventing it from having food. They leave the nest at about 47 days old and becoming fully independent roughly 85-105 days later.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.