Common Buzzard

The Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) is a medium-sized bird of prey from the Old World. Its range includes most of Europe and extends into Asia. It is resident except in the coldest parts of its range. Typically this species is between 51-57 cm in length with has a wingspan of 110 to 130 cm.

It breeds in woodland, but hunts over open land, preying on small mammals, and will come to carrion.

Buzzards are the largest bird of prey to be found in most of England. They are increasing their range in Great Britain, and spreading east from their former western strongholds.

Buzzards do not generally form flocks, but several may be seen together during migration or in good habitat. The Victorian writer on Dartmoor, William Crossing, noted that he had on occasions seen flocks of 15 or more at some places.

This broad-winged raptor has a much variation in plumage type. In Europe it is sometimes confused with the similar Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus) as well as the Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus).

The call is a plaintive peea-ay.

In North America, the term “buzzard” refers solely to vultures, in particular the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). The term “buzzard” only applies to birds of prey when intended as a derogatory epithet, specifically for raptors that are considered pests, such as the Red-tailed Hawks and Peregrine Falcons.