White Eyed Buzzard

White-eyed Buzzard  Butastur teesa


  • Butastur: Latin word Buteo- Buzzard ; Astur – Goshawk
  • Teesa : Hindi name Tisa for the White-eyed Buzzard

Vernacular Names: Hindi, Mar: Tisa, Pun: Sunakkha tisa, Guj: Teeso, Swethnen tiso, Te: Buda mali gedda, Yerkali: Yellur, Mal: Parundu

Distribution in India: Widespread resident across India except some parts of North West.

Description: Size of 36–43 cm; wt. of 325 g; wingspan of 86–100. It is small, slim-bodied greyish-brown, buteo-like raptor with striking pale yellowish-white eye and rufous-brown upper side of tail; white throat with wide dark central stripe; white forehead and lores; small to large white patch on nape; very variable pale patches on upperwing-coverts can be extensive, and frequently conspicuous when bird is perched. It frequently twists tail in flight, in manner of kite. The legs are orange-yellow and cere is yellow. The juvenile is similar to adult, but paler on head, has brown eye, lacks adult throat pattern and less heavily streaked and overall paler below. It achieves adult plumage by second year

Habitat: It is found in dry, open country, wooded and cultivated areas in lowlands up to 1200 m in Himalayas.

Food Habits: It eats mainly small mammals mainly rodents, lizards, frogs, small snakes, crabs and large insects like locusts, termites and grasshoppers, occasionally birds (usually sick or injured). It hunts from perch like a low stump, stone or low mound, making short flights to ground to capture prey, but also sometimes hawks termites in flight, or walks on ground searching for insects or other prey, especially in wake of grassland fire.

Breeding Habits:  They breed in Feb- June. The nest is a loose, unlined, crow-sized nest built by the pair, placed up in a tall tree, either in fork or on densely foliaged branch, often in grove or village. They build new nest each year. They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs. The incubation is by female only The incubation period is 19 days. Both parents feed young.