Marion J's picture


Observed: 14th March 2011 By: Marion JMarion J’s reputation in BirdsMarion J’s reputation in Birds

Buzzard-sized raptor hovering over hillside.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) interacts


bobthebirder's picture

hovering raptor

Difficult to tell much from these photos, but hovering behaviour is very indicative of species. If the bird hovered skillfully, maintaining its position precisely for minutes at a time then it must be a kestrel. If it could hover for extended periods, but with a lot of flapping and adjustments of position, it could be a buzzard (or a kestrel in strong wind). If it hovered briefly before plunging down into long grass it could be a harrier or even a short-eared owl. The tail on this bird looks much too short for a harrier or kestrel, so I would go for buzzard.

Bob Ford

Marion J's picture

hovering raptor

Thanks for the detailed comment, Bob. It was definitely not a kestrel, much too big, so probably buzzard then.

allrounder's picture


No one has yet mentioned the possibility of Rough legged Buzzard. Plumage wise it is not possible to make a positive id from these pictures, however RL Buzzard hovers much more frequently than its commoner cousin.

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Syrphus's picture

I did consider RLB when I

I did consider RLB when I first saw the post, but you can see the legs are unfeathered if you enlarge the picture. Common Buzzards often hover, often very persistently, just like RLB, although the action is subtly different.



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