Average lifespan: about 9 years
Size: typically between 51-57 cm in length with a 110 to 130 cm (48-60 inch) wingspan
The Buzzard is a medium to large bird of prey, whose range covers most of Europe and extends into Asia. There are around 40,000 breeding pairs in Britain. It is usually resident all year except in the coldest parts of its range, and in the case of one subspecies.
What does a Buzzard look like?
The buzzard is easily distinguished from all other species of hawk by its size alone. Its plumage is a rich brown, with lighter markings beneath. In flight the wings have a ragged, moth-like appearance as this bird glides to and fro at a tremendous height. The tail is barred and there is often a white patch on the underside of the wings.
Where do Buzzards live?
They breed in Europe and Asia to Japan, and winter in Eastern Africa, Malaya and South of China. British and Irish buzzards are sedentary. They inhabit forests and areas with scattered woodland. In Britain they are spreading into the lowland farmland areas from which they have been excluded for many years.
What does a Buzzard eat?
Buzzards are not picky eaters and are opportunistic eaters. They will eat just about any dead animal like possums, squirrels, rabbits, deer and even skunks. When buzzards have a choice between fresh road kill and a decayed animal carcass, however, they will always choose the fresh kill.
How does a buzzard hunt?
Buzzards hunt by dropping on their prey from slow or hovering flight or from a perch. They nearly always kill the prey on the ground. They perform spectacular aerial displays during the breeding season, involving circling high in the sky and then tumbling down towards the ground. Buzzards are believed to mate for life. Breeding success is heavily dependent on food supplies.
When do buzzards eat?
Buzzards have a difficult time seeing in the dark, and will always search for food during the day. Able to ride heat thermals or currents and soar without exerting themselves, buzzards usually do not get up before 9 a.m., when the temperature starts to warm the ground. The birds can survive for long periods of time without food if forced to, and often make up for this by overeating when they do find food. Buzzards can eat up to 25 percent of their body weight in one sitting, although this can cause problems when they later try to take flight.
How many buzzard species are there?
There are 28 buzzard species:
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)
Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus)
Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)
Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus )
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Roadside Hawk (Buteo magnirostris)
Ridgway's Hawk (Buteo ridgwayi)
White-rumped Hawk (Buteo leucorrhous)
Short-tailed Hawk (Buteo brachyurus)
White-throated Hawk (Buteo albigula)
White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus)
Galápagos Hawk (Buteo galapagoensis)
Red-backed Hawk (Buteo polyosoma)
Puna Hawk (Buteo poecilochrous)
Gray Hawk Buteo nitidus
Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus )
Hawaiian Hawk (Buteo solitarius)
Rufous-tailed Hawk (Buteo ventralis)
Mountain Buzzard (Buteo oreophilus)
Madagascar Buzzard (Buteo brachypterus)
Upland Buzzard (Buteo hemilasius)
Red-necked Buzzard (Buteo auguralis)
Augur Buzzard, Buteo augur
Archer's Buzzard, Buteo archeri
Jackal Buzzard (Buteo rufofuscus)
Download free Buzzard wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
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Buzzard Coloring pages
Print free Buzzard coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.