Cape 'Mystery' Buzzard Research

  • fred vermeulen
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4 years 9 months ago #86006 by fred vermeulen
fred vermeulen created the topic: Cape 'Mystery' Buzzard Research
Hey guys,

I am putting this 'news' out as a call to all birders to assist us in the research of the Cape 'Mystery' Buzzard.

Last night I had a meeting with Jesse Walton, Rob Martin, Tertius Gous and Jacki Furno - all of whom will be involved with this project, which will be led by Jesse and Rob. Both Jesse and Rob are well known for their research projects. The project was started 8 years ago, and since that time we have amassed some useful data on these unknown raptors, but we need more - lots more.

The project was halted for a while, due to other research that was being done, but now that the other researchers field work has ended, we are going to be focusing on the project from this point and trying to collect as much data as possible.

Our Call To You

While we have a few people who are involved in this project, we are self-funded at this stage and as such, we are going to need as much help from birders and ringers, specifically in the Western Cape, as possible.

We ask that any birder or ringer who comes across a Cape 'Mystery' Buzzard during the months of May through August, please contact me and I'll forward the information on to the relevant persons in the team.


We appeal to all general birders, should you come across one of these Mystery Buzzards during the above specified time period, please e-mail me any photographs that you manage to take of the bird, with associated location and date. We also ask that should you find any nests, that you get in contact with us. At this point, a lot of the research will revolve around nest finding, not the easiest task. But with the birding community's assistance, we are sure we may be able to collect some quality data.


For the ringers, there is an important part that you can play in this research. We ask that should you net any of these Cape 'Mystery' Buzzards, that you please take full measurements and photographs for us. This will prove of high worth in the research being done. Jacki will also likely get in touch with registered ringers in the near future via the listing services.

About Cape Buzzards

For those who are not sure what to be looking out for, or without knowledge of the Cape Buzzard. The Cape Buzzard, also known as the Mystery Buzzard is a form of Buzzard which occurs primarily in the South-Western Cape. They are prevalent in forest areas and appear, at times - much like the Steppe Buzzard. However, these birds show behaviour patterns that are not consistent with the Steppe Buzzard. They have been recorded nesting on both rock and in trees, though the latter is more common. At this stage there are a number of theories as to what exactly these birds are; whether they are the result of overwintering Steppe's who sought out breeding partners that were Forest Buzzards, or whether they are related to another form of Buzzard. There is a lot that is unknown about these birds and we aim to try and put as much of the puzzle pieces together, in order to establish just what this raptor is.

For more information and visual images on the Cape Mystery Buzzard, you can visit:

Any sightings, nest locations or information can be forwarded to me at <!-- e --><a href="][/url]<!-- e --> , likewise - should you want to get involved, drop me an e-mail.

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