9 Nov 2017

Immature male Crested Honey Buzzard in Dhahran – Record by Danny Orasa

Danny Orasa photographed the immature male Crested Honey Buzzard that has been around Dhahran for the last three weeks at least. He has kindly allowed me to use his excellent photos on my website which are shown below. The current status, of CHB in Saudi Arabia is a scarce passage migrant and winter visitor that also occurs rarely in summer. Most records are from the Eastern province in winter and spring with additional records in the west of the country in autumn, winter and spring. The first confirmed record of CHB for Saudi Arabia was in Asir province 11 October 1994, with another bird 5–10 km south on the same day. Whilst speculative, one reason for the dramatic increase in records of CHB is the recent availability of suitable habitat. Most records in the Arabian peninsula are from anthropogenic sites with extensive shade such as farmed areas, suburban parks, golf courses and plantations of mature watered trees (mainly ghaf Prosopis cinerea, but tall gum Eucalyptus plantations are also utilised). An investigation in Saudi Arabia found that hymenopteran nests are present every month of the year in the Eastern province, with searches revealing two to six nests each calendar month. As CHBs specialize in feeding on the larvae and honey of social bees and wasps potential food sources are clearly available year round. Such habitats (and densities of food sources simply did not exist in the Arabian peninsula until the early 1990s and have been created at an accelerating rate since.
Crested Honey Buzzard

Crested Honey Buzzard

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