Birds of prey

Common buzzard

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Common buzzard (Buteo buteo)

The common buzzard is a medium-sized diurnal bird of prey of the Hawk / Accipitridae / family.

Its body length is 55 cm and its wingspan - 125 cm. It weighs 0.7-1.3 kg. The color of its plumage is extremely diverse. In Europe, it can be confused with the northern buzzard, the white-tailed buzzard and the pern. The adults have a polymorphic color – the top of the body varies from rusty brown to dark brown, and the bottom – from whitish with small dark spots to dark brown. In the young buzzards, the body is light brown above, and ocher - below. They often make meow-like screeches.

They are found in Europe (including Bulgaria), Asia and Africa. They inhabit various places, but most often cultivated lands interspersed with groves. They migrate in sparse flocks and spend winters in groups in plains.

Birds from more northern populations are migratory. The young birds sometimes head south, and the adults stay all winter in their breeding territory. They have quite short and weak legs and claws that do not allow them to hunt too large prey. They mainly eat small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, large insects and other similar-sized prey. They sometimes eat carrion, too.


They are monogamous birds. They build nests in trees. They usually use the previous year's nest, and over time it can reach a meter in diameter and 80 cm in height. They lay 3-4 eggs, incubated by both parents (the female, however, spends more time in the nest) for about 30-35 days. The young birdies hatch with open eyes and are covered in bright down. During the first days, the male brings food to the nest, and the female tears it into smaller pieces. Later, both parents start leaving the food just on the edge of the nest. The young birdies leave the nest at the age of 45 days and the parents feed them for some more time.

The common buzzard is a legally protected species on the territory of Bulgaria.