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Hamirostra melanosternon

Hamirostra melanosternon (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Falconiformes
Familia: Accipitridae
Subfamilia: Perninae
Genus: Hamirostra
Species: Hamirostra melanosternon


Hamirostra Brown, 1846


* Illustrations of the genera of birds pt8 p.12


The Black-breasted Buzzard (Hamirostra melanosternon), or Black-breasted Kite, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae and the monotypic genus Hamirostra. Its wingspan ranges between 440 and 500 millimeters, with females being larger than the males.

Adult birds are relatively easy to recognise by their mainly dark plumage combined with distinctive white patches on the wings at the bases of the primary feathers.


The Black-Breasted Buzzard is native to Australia and found mainly in the northern and central parts of the continent, living in the deserts, dry grasslands, shrublands, sparse tropical woodlands and tree-lined watercourses. It does not occur in Tasmania.


Black-Breasted Buzzards eat rabbits, large lizards, other birds and carrion. It will also raid the nests of ground-nesting birds, breaking large eggs by hurling stones against them with its large beak and then eating the contents. (see gallery below).#

This species nests in trees, often along watercourses, building a platform of sticks with a central leaf-lined depression for the clutch of usually two eggs. The incubation period is about 40 days, with chicks fledging about 60 days after hatching.


* BirdLife International. (2006). Species factsheet: Hamirostra melanosternon. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 3/12/2006
* Marchant, S.; & Higgins, P.J. (Eds). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Vol. 2: Raptors to Lapwings. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553069-1

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Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License