Buzzard (Common)


Buzzard (Common)

Now the commonest and most widespread UK bird of prey. The buzzard is quite large with broad, rounded wings, and a short neck and tail. When gliding and soaring it will often hold its wings in a shallow ‘V’ and the tail is fanned. Birds are variable in colour from all dark brown to much paler variations, all have dark wingtips and a finely barred tail.
Common Buzzards prefers woodlands by open fields and can also be found on heathland and moors especially in hilly districts.


Identification

Adult
the colour of Buzzards vary greatly from very dark to very light. Their tail usually has heavily barred markings, their heads is small and breast dark in colour. They have a wide wing spam 112 - 128cms.
Size
50 - 56cms
Bill
black, hooked.
Legs
yellow, long.
Habitat
moors, heaths, forests, woods, fields and mountains
Behaviour
perches openly, takes off and lands on vegetation, posts, wires and on the ground.
Flocking
small soaring groups or solitary
Flight
soars and glides
Voice
mewing pee-oo

Breeding & Feeding

Nest
The nest, built by both birds, is usually in a tree, rocky crag or cliff. It is a substantial structure of branches, twigs, heather and other available material. The average size of a newly built nest is 1 m in diameter and 60cm deep. Re-used nests can be 1.5 m across. The shallow cup in the nest is lined with green material immediately prior to egg laying, with further material added gradually until the young fledge.
Eggs
The female lays a clutch of 2-4 white eggs with red and brown markings, at three-day intervals in mid-April.
Incubation Period
Have an incubation for 33-35 days for each successive egg. The chicks hatch at about two-day intervals.
Fledgling
50 to 55 days from hatching
Broods
1 - March to May
Food
Small mammals, birds and carrion. Even earthworms and large insects when other prey is in short supply.
UK Breeding Pairs
57, 000 to 79,000