Saturday, 3 January 2015

Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus)

OTHER NAMES: Rough-legged Hawk
Latin Etymology: Buteo ("buzzard") lagopus ("hare foot")
Rough-Legged Buzzard (subspecies B. l. lagopusat Holme Fen, Cambridgeshire - January 2015

Featured Subspecies: Buteo lagopus lagopus
Weight: 600-1600g  /  Length: 50-63cm  /  Wingspan: 120-150cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

This photo of the Rough-legged Buzzard (known as the Rough-Legged Hawk in North America) is and isn't the first I've actually managed to see this species - there was one across the Swale from Oare Marshes a few years ago but too distant to differentiate from the Common Buzzards there, but here, even at the massive distance this photo was taken, the features can be seen clearly - very pale with dark wrists and a dark panel on the stomach, plus hovering a lot more than normal buzzards.  They are an irruptive species in the UK, similar to Waxwings in that while a few turn up every year, big influxes can take place when their food supply is low in their native Scandinavia and Northern Russia.  These are obviously the best years to look for them.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Subspecies: B. l. lagopus, B. l. sanctijohannis, B. l. kamtchatkensis

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Very rare Wintering species which arrives on an irruption pattern (10-150 birds in influx years)
 - A single individual seen distantly Holme Fen in January 2015.  Probable birds seen distantly from Oare Marshes in previous years. .

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