While Jackal Buzzards (Buteo rufufuscus) cover an extremely large range throughout South Africa, around here we have seen several in the open grasslands and in agricultural areas not far from town. I more often than not see one a perched on a fence post in the distance only for it to fly off as I approach. This one obligingly posed on a branch for a minute or two:

This gives us a good view of its strong talons and beak used to tear through the skin and muscles of its prey – in this case it is eating a Scrub Hare:

These impressive-looking birds are sturdy, with the adults measuring 44 to 60 cm in length and weighing up to almost 2Kg. I always feel privileged to come across one of them for I feel that they rank among the most beautiful of our raptors.

The ‘jackal’ part of their name relates to the sound they make, which is similar to the call of the Black-backed jackal.


  1. I love watchng birds of prey riding the thermals above my garden. I see bizzards and red kites regularly. But I am very glad I am not a small furry creature they might think of as dinner!


  2. Finding one of these beautiful raptors that poses so willingly for a photograph is a wonderful opportunity that you exploited marvelously with these photographs, Anne!


  3. Such stunning captures Anne! They are called buteos worldwide, which I learned photographing them in different countries, which is interesting to me, since they are not called this in the US. Your jackals look like our coyotes, except for their amazing upper pelt. Looking at the jackal photo reminded me of seeing hyenas mating at night. From all the nature documentaries I had watched all my life, I never could have imagined, how big and powerful they and their jaws are, and how brilliantly their eyes reflected in the night.


  4. I had never heard of a black-backed Jackal. An interesting looking creature.
    The bird looks similar to our red-tailed hawk. Sort of a mix of red-tailed hawk, red-shouldered hawk and a Snail kite. How is that for a mix. ha… Love seeing the pictures.


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