|Conservation status||Least concern|
The barred honey-buzzard measures 19.7 to 22.8 inches in length, and has a wingspan of 43.4 to 49.4 inches. Females are slightly larger than males. It differs from either the European or Oriental honey-buzzards due to the presence of a crest on the nape of the head, and bears shorter wings than either. The adult has a black vertex, a brown dorsal region, a lighter colored tail with broad blackish transversal bands and two to three thinner basal bars; the throat is white and the chest is chamois-reddish with blackish streaks, as well as the abdomen. The young has a much lighter color than that of the adult, a smaller number of streaks on the ventral region, and five dark bars on the tail. The iris is yellow in the adult and brown in the young, the legs are yellow.
Range and habitat
The barred honey-buzzard is endemic to the island of Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), and is also found on three nearby smaller islands, Peleng, Muna and Buton. It lives, alone or in pairs, in the rainforests or at their edges near clearings and plains, and generally on hilly or mountainous terrain, to an altitude between 750 and 3,300 feet.
The barred honey-buzzard feeds on the larvae, pupae and perhaps adults of wasps, bees and other social insects; it will follow these insects from their fraging point to the nest. It also is an opportunistic predator, preying upon other insects and small vertebrates, such as lizards or rodents.
Mimicry has been claimed for this species as well as other related birds of the genus Pernis. According to the theory, it has developed a plumage with designs very similar to those of other stronger and more aggressive birds of prey in order to discourage attacks, which with this species is the immature plumage of the Sulawesi hawk-eagle (Nisaetus lanceolatus).