While Team Avatar was lost in the desert, they unwittingly entered a large hive inhabited by buzzard wasps and were consequently attacked by the colony. During the frenzy, a buzzard wasp captured Momo, prompting Aang to rescue him with the use of airbending. In anger, the Avatar sent an air blade several hundred yards, knocking the creature down. Later, while flying across the desert, a ravenous Appa sought out food and entered a hive of buzzard wasps. The creatures angrily began to chase the bison, who managed to ward them off with an air blast.
These creatures are six-legged insects that have a vulture-like head and a bee or wasp-like body, hence their name. They have brown, white, and gray stripes on their abdomen, and their necks are dark gray with a light gray ruff at the body. These creatures also have wings attached to their thorax and are capable of flight. Their beaks and talons are razor sharp.
The buzzard wasps live in caves they dug out of Si Wong Rock. The gooey substance on their cave walls is produced by the females and has the flavor of rotten penguin meat, as Sokka remarked when he tasted it. It is the equivalent of honey and produced in a similar way. It is used to feed their young. They will attack if provoked by intruders in their nest and become aggravated by loud noises. In such cases, they can be considered dangerous. They primarily feed on carrion, but will hunt live game if they are desperate for food.
Buzzard wasps seem to be a combination of a wasp and a turkey vulture, the latter of which is commonly referred to as a turkey buzzard in accordance with the fauna's namesake. Turkey vultures are large scavenger birds that are distinguished by their bald heads.
- While Sokka was under the hallucinogenic effects of cactus juice, he called them "circle birds".
- Their name and appearance seems to be a pun on vulture bees, a type of bee that feeds on rotting meat instead of nectar. Coincidentally, Sokka said the honey dripping from the walls of their hive tasted like rotted meat.
- Many years after the Hundred Year War, a pro-bending team named itself the Bau Ling Buzzard Wasps.
- ↑ Hedrick, Tim (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (July 14, 2006). "The Desert". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 13, 2006). "Appa's Lost Days". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ Avatar Extras for "The Desert" on Nicktoons Network.
- ↑ From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.
- ↑ The Legend of Korra: Welcome to Republic City. Nickelodeon (May 11, 2012). Retrieved on May 11, 2012.