Belongs to: birds of prey

Buzzard Buteo buteo


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

A large, soaring bird of prey with a distinctive mewing call

Habitat: almost anywhere that it can find prey such as rabbits or small mammals

Originally limited to the west of Britain, it has been spreading eastwards, including into Essex

Recognition

Dark brown above, paler below with bars and streaks; male 50 cm, female up to 60 cm

Hovers with angled wings against a strong wing, or soars lazily with slow flaps of its broad wings

Often mobbed by smaller birds such as crows or seagulls

Lifecycle

Builds a bulky stick nest on a tall tree or cliff ledge, often decorated with leaves or seaweed

Lays late April to early May; 2–3 eggs, white with chocolate or red-brown markings

Many northern european birds winter in Africa

  • Main photo

Photo © Alan Williams