The Common or Eurasian buzzard belongs to the family Buteo buteo. They breed in Europe, Asia/Japan and winter in E. Africa, Malaya and S. 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.
They have variable plumage raning from pale to dark brown. The tail is barred and there is often a white patch on the underside of the wings. They body length is 50-57 cm, with a wingspan of 113-128cm and weigh in the region of 0.5-1.3kg. They have a gull-like, high pitched mewing call.
Buzzards predominantely hunt rabbits, but also feed on rodents, ground birds, reptiles and carrion. They 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, with a pair of birds circling high in the sky and then tumbling down towards the ground. Buzzards are believed to mate for life. Breeding success is heavily dependant on food supplies. The nest is made of sticks, heather and other foliage, and is sited high up in a tree or on a cliff edge. The female lays 2-3 eggs from late March to May, which both sexes incubate for about 34 days. The chicks fledge after about 40-45 days but do not become independent for a further 6-8 weeks.
Our pair of buzzards nested this year but didn't have any luck in hatching but you can see pictures of their nest site below.
The female has just flown back onto the nest.
She then pulls the eggs back underneath her.
Sat comfortably back on the nest.