woodsman42's picture

Buzzard Pellet ?

Observed: 27th May 2011 By: woodsman42
Pellet Scat 230511.JPG

Two of these pellets found, one in open grassland, other in mixed woodland. Woodland pellet was 90% Cockchafer remains and 10% bone & grey fur; grassland pellet was 100% cockchafer remains.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) interacts


woodsman42's picture

Buzzard Pellet update

Pellet has no smell, so it's probably not fox scat; and wasn't near any of the usual badger latrines. So buzzard seems a likely id.

Aláine's picture


I'm not sure buzzards eat cockchafers although I could be wrong considering they do eat earth worms.


the naturalist man's picture


Interesting one. This is a pellet rather than mammal faeces simply because when bones and invertebrate parts pass through the gut they get squashed tight and bound with other waste materials, unlike this loose pellet. Also when they pass through the gut they become roughly aligned along the length of the faeces; whereas this has parts at all angles implying pellet.

As for what produced it, that's more difficult. Hobby and little owl are the obvious invertebrate feeders but at 8cm these are twice the size of either bird's pellets. What is confusing me is that one was found in woodland, suggesting a woodland bird (e.g. buzzard who are the only woodland pellet producing bird which spends time feeding on invertebrates in open grassland where cockchafers would be found) and the other was found in an open field which would suggest gull; but the woodland pellet would tend to rule out gull.

My gut feeling is gull, were there any herring gulls around?

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

the naturalist man's picture


Looking at this again it could be pointed at each end, or that could be due to its decomposed state. If it is pointed then that suggests corvid, which would mean rook with so much invertebrate material.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

jasmineparker's picture

Dear Woodsman42, My name is

Dear Woodsman42,

My name is Jasmine Parker from Bloomsbury Publishing, UK. I’m currently doing picture research for a project called The RSPB Nature Tracker’s Handbook by Nick Baker.

As you can imagine from the title, the book will consist of an in depth guide to the various tracking skills one might need to identify and survey animals in the wild. And as it’s a very visual book, we have had to ensure that each animal sign within the book is reinforced through accompanying photos. Which is where we would like to ask for your help by granting us permission to use your Common Buzzard pellet image.

We would require a high resolution 300dpi version of the photo. In return we would be very pleased to offer you a signed copy of the published book (available from June 2013) and a photo credit inside.
Thank you for your time and help.

Best regards,