Lizard Buzzard

Birding in Zambia: Bird of the Week

In North America, the word buzzard is used colloquially to refer to either of the two common vultures, the turkey vulture or the black vulture.  In the Old World, buzzard is used to refer to certain types of hawks.  The Lizard Buzzard is one of these, and one of the most common in Zambia.  It is a beautiful gray bird with plain gray back and chest with gray barring on its belly.  It is easy to identify with its black chin stripe which no other raptors in Zambia have.

Bird - Lizard Buzzard

As their name implies, they hunt mainly reptiles and also large insects, small mammals, and birds.  Here is one that we saw at Masuku lodge in Choma with a fairly long snake in its grasp.  Later he flew off with the snake though he seemed quite weighted down. 

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The last photo here is one of my favorites as he really looks quite fierce.  He looks like he should be the mascot for a sports team somewhere.  Another handsome bird.

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