Beaky Buzzard is a buzzard (although he more closely resembles a vulture or condor) with black body feathers and a white tuft around his throat. His neck is long and thin, bending 90 degrees at an enormous adam's apple. His neck and head are featherless, and his beak is large and yellow or orange, depending on the cartoon. Beaky bears a perpetual goofy grin, and his eyes look eternally half-asleep. Mama Buzzard appears similar to Beaky, though she is considerably larger than most Looney Tunes characters (dominating in height over Beaky, Bugs and Sylvester).
Both Beaky and Mama Buzzard first appeared in the 1942 cartoon Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid, directed by Bob Clampett. The cartoon's plot revolves around the hopeless attempts of Beaky, here called Killer, to catch Bugs Bunny for his domineering Greek mother (voiced by Sara Berner) back at the nest. Beaky's voice was modeled after ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's character Mortimer Snerd, earning Beaky the nickname "Snerd Bird." The voice itself was provided by voice actor Kent Rogers.
Clampett brought the characters back in the 1945 film The Bashful Buzzard, a cartoon that closely mirrors its predecessor albeit without the presence of Bugs. This time Beaky's hapless attempts to bring food back for his Mama (again voiced by Berner) continue until he accidentally targets a dragon. Rogers reprised his role as the character's voice for the film, but he died in a Naval aviation training accident at Pensacola, Florida before finishing all his dialogue, so Stan Freberg was brought in to finish the work (as was Eddie Bartell, according to some sources).
Warner Bros. apparently thought they had something in the character, and Beaky was featured in much of the Looney Tunes merchandising of the time. He also appeared in several issues of Dell Comics' Looney Tunes series of comic books, usually paired with another minor player, Henery Hawk.
Clampett left the studio in 1946, ending Beaky's career for a time. The character was eventually brought back in the 1950 Friz Freleng film The Lions Busy, now voiced by the versatile Mel Blanc. Freleng made the buzzard smarter, pitting him against a dim-witted lion named Leo. Bob McKimson also featured the character in a film that year, Strife with Father. McKimson's Beaky is again back to his idiotic self, this time under the tutelage of his adoptive father, a sparrow who is trying to teach Beaky how to survive in the wild.
Beaky Buzzard had a minor role in Tiny Toon Adventures, where he played the mentor of the character; Concord Condor. He later appeared in the films Space Jam (1996, as a team player) and 2003's Looney Tunes: Back in Action (as an Acme pilot), and is voiced by Joe Alaskey in both films.
Beaky (again voiced by Alaskay) and Mama (voiced by June Foray) also appeared in The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries in the episode "3 Days & 2 Nights of the Condor". In the episode, Beaky and Sylvester fight over Tweety. The episode ends when Sylvester's scheme to disguise himself as a buzzard backfires, with Mama falling madly in love with him.
Beaky later appeared in Duck Dodgers (voiced yet again by Alaskay).
Beaky Buzzard appeared in the video games Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time and Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 4.
Beaky Buzzard appears in The Looney Tunes Show episode "Ridiculous Journey" voiced by Jim Cummings. He works as a rescue buzzard who rescued Sylvester, Tweety, and Taz from the desert and brought them to his slow-moving balloon. When Blacque Jacque Shellacque attacks and cuts the balloon, Beaky Buzzard tries to save Sylvester, Tweety, and Taz only to end up caught in one of Blacque Jacque Shellacque's nets.