The Common Buzzard
Length: 51 - 57cms (20 - 22ins)
Wingspan: 113 - 128cms (44 - 50ins)
Weight: 0.4 - 1.4kg (15oz - 3lb)
Habitat: Buzzards build their nests in trees and sometimes on rocky ledges. When breeding they favor woodland with some open ground, but will also live on open moorland provided there are some trees
The Common Buzzard is a medium sized Raptor with a wingspan of more than a metre. Weighing upto 1.4kg it had broad rounded wings and a fairly short tail which it uses to soar and glide effortlessly over hills and valleys. However; in direct flapping flight the Common Buzzard's movements can appear quite laboured and it prefers to still-hunt from a convenient perch, gliding down to seize prey in its talons.
The History of the Common Buzzard shows the usual pattern of persecution which drove it into western Britain, particularly the West Country, Wales and Scotland. During the late 1950's and the 1960's Buzzard numbers were dramatically reduced still further when myxomatosis wiped out over 90% of the rabbit population, so depriving it of its major source of food.
However; being an adaptable bird the Buzzard has since been able to exploit other sources of food including voles, young birds, reptiles, invertebrates and feeds widely on carrion.
The Common Buzzard has re-colonised much of its old territory and is once again amongst the most numerous of Britain's Birds of Prey.