British wildlife recordings

Buteo buteo : Buzzard - Accipitridae

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  • Shelf mark

    W1CDR0001375 BD12

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  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    OS Grid Reference(641500,323500)

  • Recordist

    Shove, Lawrence

  • Species

    Buzzard, Buteo buteo

  • Description

    This is the call of the buzzard recorded in woodland in Cumbria. The buzzard is a common site over much of north and western Britain, soaring and gliding with its wings held in a characteristic shallow V-shape. It is often mistaken for an eagle but has much rounder wings, and is considerably smaller. The plumage is very variable but the buzzard is generally of medium-brown coloration, with lighter undersides to the primary feathers. The call of the buzzard is a very plaintive, long 'peeee-uu' note, which is made at any time of year. It is often seen perched in trees or on posts where it may swoop down to feed on small mammals, rabbits, and birds, as well as carrion. During winter, it may even been seen on the ground hunting for worms. The buzzard will often breed repeatedly in the same tree, adding material to the nest each breeding season. Once widespread in Britain, the buzzard has been subject to persecution during the 20th century, as well as being affected by myxomatosis, which greatly reduced the rabbit population. The result was the extermination of birds from south-eastern counties. They are now re-colonising these areas although unlawful persecution still remains a threat. There are currently 50,000 pairs breeding in Britain.

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