Common buzzard by Elizabeth Dack 1/5
Common buzzard by Julian Thomas 2/5
Juvenile common buzzard by Francis Pendle 3/5
Common buzzard taking off by Elizabeth Dack 4/5
Common buzzard by Elizabeth Dack 5/5

Common buzzard Buteo buteo

The common buzzard is the most common of Britain’s larger birds of prey and it is found in most habitats, particularly woodland, arable, pasture, marsh and scrub. It eats small mammals, birds, carrion and even earthworms if food is in short supply. Its distinctive mewing call, like a cat, is usually made in flight. It can be mistaken for a honey buzzard which passes through Norfolk as a summer visitor or on migration but they have a smaller head and neck and a different jizz.

Conservation status

Buzzards are now the most widespread resident raptor in Britain. Persecution in the 19th Century resulted in buzzards being confined to just the western areas of England, Wales and Scotland. Numbers increased after the banning of a number of pesticides in the 1960s which had been found to affect the ability to reproduce of a number of bird species. Since the 1990s they have recolonised the south and east of England and are now a familiar sight and sound in Norfolk.

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Did you know? The male will perform an aerial display (known as ‘the roller coaster’) to attract a mate, rising high in the sky to plummet downwards in a twisting and turning spiral. Buzzards are strongly territorial and will defend their territories all year. Their nests are a substantial structure built of twigs and branches, and lined with vegetation, which can be 100cm wide and 60cm deep.
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