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Zoo Staff Captures Rare Footage of Honey Buzzard in Action

Taipei Zoo unveiled stunning photos of oriental honey buzzards raiding a wasp nest.
Known for its location boasting diverse ecology, visitors at Taipei Zoo can easily find traces of indigenous wildlife in addition to zoo animals such as ant hills, bird nests, and bee hives within the vicinity of the park.
The wasp nest in question was first spotted in the forested area across from the zoo’s Wildlife Rescue Center last year. The presence of the nest forces zoo staff to exercise caution when performing their duties in the vicinity of the center.
While staff members also took note of honey buzzards appearing in the surrounding, the aerial predators did not take any actions until early February. Through repeated raiding, the birds were able to open a hole on the wasp nest. This allowed the zoo staff to observe these birds as they hunt down the prey.
The oriental honey buzzards (Pernis Ptilorhynchus) feed on bees and wasps of all stages, as well as the honeycomb. The bird’s scale-like feathers on the head help to fend off the harmful stings of insects, while their powerful claws tear apart wasp nests with ease.
Experts pointed out that in Taiwan, there are honey buzzards with migratory and residential lifestyles. Those adopting residential lifestyle limit their migratory route to within the island, traveling between northern Taiwan and southern Taiwan. The first flock to reside on the island dates back to the period between 1970 and 1990, coinciding with the heydays of Taiwan’s beekeeping industry.