Buzzards are one of the several large birds, though they can be differently described according to the Old World and New World countries. The Old World, comprising of Asia, Africa and Europe, describes buzzards as medium-sized, wide ranging raptors having a robust body and broad wings, particularly those belonging to the genus Buteo. The New World consisting of America and Australia uses the name Buzzard to categorize general vultures, particularly the American Black Vulture and Turkey Vulture. Buzzards are often seen as birds scavenging upon the bodies of dead animals. However, in reality these birds are much more than being foragers. They are expert hunters who are faithful to their family and contribute towards the environmental balance. The size of a common buzzard is 51 – 57 cm, with a wingspan measuring 1.0 – 1.5 m. Generally, buzzards have very few predators of which large birds like Eagles are common. The others can be cats or foxes who may prowl and catch, if there is a buzzard is found in a haze. Read the article to find interesting information and amazing facts on this bird species.
Genus: Buteo and Pernis
Lifespan: 8 years
Diet: Small mammals, especially rabbits, insects and carrion
Habitat: Open hilly & mountainous areas with copses & wooded valleys
Gestation Period: 5 weeks
Number of Offspring: 2-3
Interesting & Amazing Information On Buzzards
- A typical buzzard is identified with its brown feathers and yellow legs. The bird is known to frequently vocalize where it builds its nests. It makes a sound similar to that of the mew of a cat.
- Being birds of prey, the buzzards hunt for food. They have excellent eyesight and hunt during the day. They attack the prey with their hooked beak and sharp talons, which are quite lethal.
- Buzzard mainly resides in the warmer climates of European countries, particularly in Britain, Germany and France. It is the most common bird of prey in Britain, where it is not listed among ‘endangered species’.
- The bird is known to nest in a variety of environments that can range from open hills and farmlands to forest clearings and rocky environments. It favors building its nest close to the fringes of open areas that allow easy hunting. A buzzard can also be found perched on a tree branch or cliff.
- Buzzards mostly tend to hunt alone, though it is not unusual to find them hunting in pairs. While these birds are not known to be scavengers by nature, they eat carrion occasionally. They hunt in open areas, where it is relatively easier to spot pheasants, rabbits, snakes, and lizards. Buzzards even feed on insects found in fields that have been freshly ploughed.
- These birds remain very independent throughout their life. They are not known to form flocks like the other birds. However, they migrate together and even live in the same area. They rarely fight among themselves, except when one bird trespasses on other’s territory.
- Woodland areas are seen as ideal for buzzards to breed. To attract the female, the male bird performs an intricate aerial ritual and notifies that there is a nest nearby. The eggs are white or bluish-white in color, with red brown or pale lilac spots on their body. Buzzards have a reputation of being devoted partners, as they mate for life. Both the parents care for the young ones, during the first six to eight weeks of birth.
- The call of a buzzard bears a resemblance to the mewing of a cat.
- Buzzards are opportunistic predators.
- Each pair of buzzards will have at least 21 different nests at different sites. They move to a fresh site every year for mating.
- While building their nests, these birds have a tendency to decorate it with fresh green foliage.
- Buzzards mostly build their nests on trees, but nests in rocky crags or cliffs have also been found.
- Buzzards are highly adaptable species, who can survive almost anywhere. Their main requirement is a tree, high enough, to safely build a nest.