White-eyed Buzzard


White-eyed Buzzard

Scientific Name:  Butastur teesa

White-eyed Buzzard image

White-eyed Buzzard  Photo by:  --

Bird Type:  Birds of Prey    416  Views


The white-eyed buzzard is a medium sized bird of prey, measuring 35 to 45 cm in length and weighing 350 grams. The wingspan is 85 to 100 cm. The female buzzard is slightly larger than the male. It is slim bodied and has whitish iris and throat. The ceres are distinctly yellow and and there is a dark mesial stripe. The head and back are dark and the underside of the body is darkly barred. When perched, the wing tip nearly reaches the tip of the tail. On the rufous tail there is a darker subterminal band. The wings appear narrow and the tips of the wing feathers is dark.


  • 43-43 cm

  • 17-17 Inch

  • brown

  • white  (Bird may have more colors)
  •    Busautour aux yeux blancs
  •    ટીસો, શ્વેતનેણ ટીસો
  •    तीसा
  •    വെള്ളക്കണ്ണിപ്പരുന്തു്
  •    तीसा, व्याध
  •    जमल श्येनबाज
  •    வெள்ளைக்கண் வைரி

The white-eyed buzzard inhabits dry open land, open forest and cultivated lands.


The white-eyed buzzard preys on small birds, mammals, reptiles, frogs, crabs and insects like locusts, grasshoppers and crickets.


Plaintive meving pit-weer, pit-weer in breeding season


The white-eyed buzzard (Butastur teesa) is a medium-sized hawk, distinct from the true buzzards in the genus Buteo, found in South Asia. Adults have a rufous tail, a distinctive white iris, and a white throat bearing a dark mesial stripe bordered. The head is brown and the median coverts of the upper wing are pale. They lack the typical carpal patches on the underside of the wings seen in true buzzards, but the entire wing lining appears dark in contrast to the flight feathers. They sit upright on perches for prolonged periods and soar on thermals in search of insect and small vertebrate prey. They are vociferous in the breeding season, and several birds may be heard calling as they soar together.

This slim and small hawk is easily identified by its white iris and the white throat and dark mesial stripe. A white spot is sometimes visible on the back of the head. When perched, the wing tip nearly reaches the tip of the tail. The ceres are distinctly yellow and the head is dark with the underside of the body darkly barred. In flight, the narrow wings appear rounded with black tips to the feathers and the wing lining appears dark. The upper wing in flight shows a pale bar over the brown. The rufous tail is barred with a darker subterminal band. Young birds have the iris brownish and the forehead is whitish and a broad supercilium may be present. The only confusion can occur in places where it overlaps with the grey-faced buzzard (Butastur indicus), adults of which have a distinctive white supercilium. Fledgelings are reddish brown, unlike most other downy raptor chicks, which tend to be white.

This species is widely distributed in South Asia, throughout India in the plains and extending up to 1000 m in the Himalayas. It is a resident in Iran, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. A form that is possibly of this species has been recorded in the Greater Sundas, Indonesia but this population is widely disjunct and has whiter and unmarked feathers on the thigh or "trousers" and vent, possibly representing a new form. It is absent from Sri Lanka and is probably absent from the Andamans. It is a summer visitor in northeastern Afghanistan. It is mainly found in the plains, but may go up to 1200 m altitude in the foothills of the Himalayas.

The usual habitat is in dry, open forest or cultivation. They are numerous in some areas, but declining. A survey in the late 1950s estimated about 5000 birds in the vicinity of Delhi in an area of about 50,000 km2 giving a density of 0.1 per square kilometre.

    Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
    Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
    Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
    Winter visitor
    Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
    known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
    Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
    Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
 colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season