Buteo buteo buteo
Steppe Buzzard is the same species but the nominate sub-species is the one from the west of Europe. These birds are very variable - much more so than the Steppe - and a little bigger.
The most usual colour is a dark brown and the birds are like Buteo species all round the world. They are very accomplished soaring birds which are often seen to be patrolling their territories. Their calls resemble the mewing of an annoyed kitten. Most feed on mammals and their fortunes in Britain follow that of the rabbit. They have been eliminated from lowland areas by game interests many years ago but are just creeping back. They are beginning to do well in Northern Ireland where they were virtually extinct. There may be as many as 15,000 pairs in Britain and 150 in Ireland.
Western Europe's common Buteo.
Length 540 mm Closed wing 390 mm Weight 840 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead