Common buzzards (Buteo buteo) are medium to large-sized birds. The word Buteo is a Latin word that means Hawk. They are often confused with the species such as the Golden eagle and Red kite due to their large size and brown color. They have a large geographical range. They belong to the Accipitridae family, Accipitriformes order, Aves class, and Buteo genus. They are found across Europe, Asia, and Africa. They inhabit woodlands and the countryside. They are the commonest birds of prey in the UK. They are also called nesting and migratory protected species. There are 28 subspecies of Common buzzard. Some of them include Buteo buteo rothschildi, Buteo buteo vulpinus (steppe buzzard), Buteo buteo Arrigoni, and Buteo buteo menetriesi.
They exhibit a round head and short tail. The plumages have variable colouration. Most feathers are brown colored, and underparts are white in color. Their eyes are brownish yellow, cere, feet, and claws are yellow. Their dark beaks are hooked from the base. Both the male and female are identical except that females have a slightly large size as compared to males. They are opportunistic predators. They mostly feed on birds, small mammals, carrion, earthworms, and large insects.
Their nesting sites are tree branches, forks in trees, and rocky cliffs. The nests are formed with the help of sticks, branches, and twigs. The breeding season starts from March to May. These birds are monogamous and mate for life. Certain courtship rituals include flying in circles and diving by males. Their brown feathers help them in hiding from many of the predators in the woods. They exhibit the greatest speed that helps them to escape danger. They exhibit distinctive calls (like that of a cat) and flying shapes. Their tails are often fanned, and wings become shallow V in shape while soaring and gliding.
They have an average size of about 51 centimeters to 57 centimeters or 20 inches to 22 inches, an average weight of about 400 grams to 1400 grams or 15 ounces to 48 ounces, an average wingspan of about 42 inches to 53 inches. They exhibit a top speed of about 25 miles per hour.
Some of the predators of these birds include eagles, wildcats, and foxes. Some other threats are humans and habitat loss due to deforestation. They are listed as least concerned by International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Their average lifespan is 12 to 20 years. They have a stable population of about 2,100,000 to 3,700,000 individuals in the whole world.
Common Buzzard Vs. Hawk:
Some of the differences between Common buzzard and Hawk are as follows,
- Hawks are small-sized and lighter than Common buzzards.
- Common buzzards mostly eat carrion while Hawks mostly capture prey.
- However, both hunt for birds, rodents, and reptiles.
Common Buzzard Range:
Common buzzards are found across Russia and Europe, Northern Asia, and Africa in winter. Their range of habitats includes woodland, pasture, moorland, arable land, scrub, marsh bog, villages, towns, and cities.
Geographically, the continents in which these birds can be found are Asia, Europe, and Africa. Subcontinents include South Asia, North Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Western Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and East Asia. Countries include Albania, Andorra, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Namibia, Sudan, France, Greece, England, etc.
Common Buzzard Spirit Animal:
Common buzzards symbolize protection and defense. They act as a warning sign to protect people from any upcoming danger. They also symbolize adaptability in any kind of good or bad situation. They teach us to get through our difficult times. They also teach us to take advantage of all the opportunities without wasting any time.
Does Common Buzzard Eat Itself?
Common buzzards’ primary diet includes dead animals (carcass, carrion).
There is no other animal that can eat the carcass of Common buzzard. Even Buzzards themselves cannot eat their own carcass. This is because their food is mostly repulsive, comprising of dead and decomposed food.
Common Buzzard Diet:
Common buzzards are carnivores. They feed on rodents (voles), mice, snakes, reptiles (lizards), insects, and carrion. Sometimes they consume poison put out to kill foxes.
These raptors hunt by dropping from the perches. They often forage in the form of groups (wake) on the grounds. They can also forage by random soars and glides.
Common Buzzard Call:
Common buzzards exhibit very distinctive calls like that of a cat.
The call of a Common buzzard is “peeee-uu.” These birds often make these calls while foraging for food from different perches of trees to grounds. They mostly exhibit gliding and soaring while making different calls in spring.
Common Buzzard Feathers:
The plumages of Common buzzards exhibit a variety of colors. Mostly they are brown in color with white-spotted underparts. The brown color of feathers helps these birds to hide from predators in the woods.
Common Buzzard Height:
Common buzzards are medium to large-sized birds. Their average height is 46 centimeters to 58 centimeters. Females are 2 to 7% larger than males.
Common buzzards are medium to large-sized raptors that are found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. They are often called tourist eagles because of their similarities, such as their large size and brown coloration. They are well known for their distinctive call “peeee-uu,” huge consumption of carrion, hiding from predators in the woods because of brown-colored plumages and high speed. They are considered as least concerned and have a stable population.