Sunday, 23 August 2009

Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)

Adult dark morph Common Buzzard (subspecies B. b. buteo) at Geddington, Northants - March 2010

OTHER NAMES: Buzzard
Local Name (Spain): Ratonero comĂșn ("Common Buzzard")
Featured Subspecies: Buteo buteo buteo
Weight: 400g-1400g
Length: 40-58cm
Wingspan: 109-136cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

While the common buzzard once suffered catastrophic population decline as a result of DDT and persecution from landowners, legislation to prevent these issues has now allowed it to become the most common species of raptor in the British Isles.  For an example of this, during a car journey down to Cornwall I will often see more than twenty of them along pretty much every section of the route down. Their large size makes them easier to photograph than they could be, however, I've found them to be oddly more tolerant of cars than they are of pedestrians - the best views I have had tend to be from cars while they perch on roadside fences and trees, while similar distances on foot cause them to take off. They tend to be higher flying than Red Kites in my area, making photos of them slightly harder to get to good quality, but they do also feed on fields sometimes.  They do turn up in a range colour variations, largely in different colour combinations of white and brown, which makes them a bit of a hazard when identifying other similar sized raptors.  I also saw this species on both trips to Spain, but given the much larger number of raptors it shares its habitat with, it's seemingly far less ubiquitous than in the UK.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Subspecies: B. b. buteo, B. b. arrigonii, B. b. rothschildi, B. b. insularum, B. b. vulpines, B. b. menetriesi

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Common breeding resident (57,000-79,000 pairs)
 - Birds seen at various sites including Rutland WaterPitsford Reservoir and Geddington.
SPAIN - Fairly common resident.
 - SEVILLE 2011 TRIP: A single bird at El Rocio
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Several on farmland North of Madrid 


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