Wild Birds


Buzzards are large birds of prey that live in a wide range of habitats, including grasslands, forests, and deserts.

They mostly feed on birds or small mammals, or the remains of dead animals (carrion).

They usually place their eggs in a depression in the ground. The average clutch consists of 2 to 3 eggs. The hatchlings are usually covered with white down (varies by species).

Buzzards are graceful flyers – soaring at great heights and moving their wings only to adjust to changing air currents.

In the Old World (Europe, Asia, Africa), buzzards are described as:

  • One of several medium-sized, wide-ranging raptors with a robust body and broad wings.
  • In particular, those in the genus Buteo. In the Old World, members of this genus are named as “buzzards”, but “hawk” is more common in North America.
  • Specifically, in Europe, the Common Buzzard, Buteo buteo, where Buzzard is often used as a synonym.
  • Any raptor which has the word buzzard as part of its name.

In the New World (Americas), buzzards are described as:

  • A vulture, particularly the American Black Vulture and Turkey Vulture, or as a general term for vultures and condors.
  • In parts of the United States where they are considered pest, particularly in rural areas, a derogatory term for certain birds of prey, such as the Chickenhawk (a common colloquial name referring to both the Red-tailed Hawk and the Cooper’s Hawk), or the Duck hawk (known elsewhere as the Peregrine Falcon). In the U.S., the term “buzzard” is never used to refer to birds of prey, like hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls, outside of this context.
  • Rarely, a derogatory term for any large bird that happens to be a scavenger, such as a raven or albatross (in other words, any large bird that is neither predatory nor flightless).
Leucistic Red Tailed Hawk

Buteo species

Other species known as “buzzard”:Rough-legged Hawk


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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