Buzzard – Buteo buteo


Buzzards are the UKs most common large bird of prey, found mainly in the western half of the country but now increasing their range into the South. They live in all types of habitat from open farmland to uplands with wooded valleys.

Frequently seen soaring in groups high in the sky on hot air thermals while emitting a distinctive mewing cry, they have keen eyesight, eight times better than humans. They usually hunt from low perches such as gate posts and fences, feeding mainly on small mammals and other animals.

They are sometimes mobbed by gulls and crows who see them as a competitor for their food.




51 – 57 cm.


Dark brown plumage with bars and streaks on paler underside. Broad wings, and a blunt rounded tail, black at the tip.


Mainly in wooded hilly districts in the north and west of England, Wales and Scotland.


2 – 3 eggs laid April / May. Both parents incubate the eggs, which hatch after about 35 days. For the first few days the chicks are fed by the female with food brought by the male. Thereafter each parent brings food for 40 – 45 days.


Made of sticks in trees or sometimes on cliff ledges. The nest is lined with small leafy twigs.


Rabbits, rodents, other small mammals, birds, snakes, frogs, insects and carrion such as dead lambs.

Population: Pre-breeding season estimated to be 30,000.