Eurasian buzzard

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The Eurasian buzzard (Buteo buteo) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These Eurasian buzzard species are distributed in Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent and Africa.

Taxonomy of Eurasian buzzard

  • Scientific Name: Buteo buteo
  • Common Name: Eurasian buzzard
  • French: Buse variable; German: M√§usebussard; Spanish: Busardo ratonero;
  • Other names: Falco Buteo Linnaeus, 1758; Common buzzard;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Buteo buteo was earlier included in the genus Falco. Earlier it was also clubbed with B. japonicus and B. refectus. The nine recognized subspecies are: B. b. rothschildi Swann, 1919, B. b. harterti Swann, 1919, B. b. insularum Floericke, 1903, B. b. buteo (Linnaeus, 1758), B. b. arrigonii Picchi, 1903, B. b. pojana (Savi, 1831), B. b. bannermani Swann, 1919, B. b. vulpinus (Gloger, 1833) and B. b. menetriesi Bogdanov, 1879.

Birds of India - Image of Eurasian buzzard - Buteo buteo
Birds of India - Image of Eurasian buzzard - Buteo buteo


The Eurasian buzzard is a medium sized bird of prey, measuring 40 to 50 cm in length and weighing 400 to 1,200 grams. The female buzzard is a larger bird and weighs 500 to 1,300 grams. The wingspan is 110 to 140 cm. The plumage varies from white to black in the subspecies. The more common plumage is shades of brown, with a pale 'necklace' of feathers. The flight feathers are barred and there is pale area in the outer primaries. The buzzard call is a loud mewing sound.


These buzzard species inhabit edges of forests, pastures, open fields, steppe, coniferous forests, deciduous forests, wetlands and cultivated lands with closeby tree cover.

Feeding habits

The Eurasian buzzard preys upon small birds, mammals, frogs, reptiles and large insects. In rare occasions it is seen scavenging dead animals.


The Eurasian buzzard breeding season varies with latitude and is generally from March to May. Nest is built with sticks and twigs on a tree branch. The clutch may contain 2 to 4 eggs. The incubation of eggs is mostly by the female buzzard. The male feeds the female and the chicks.


The Eurasian buzzard is distributed in Europe, Asia, India and Africa.

Movement Patterns

The Eurasian buzzard is mostly resident. The subspecies B. b. vulpinus is completely migratory, migrating from northern Europe and Asia to winter in southern Europe, Africa and India.

Status and conservation

The Eurasian buzzard has an extremely large range and population and is considered least vulnerable. Persecution, bait traps, pesticides, decline is prey animals and habitat loss are the main threats to survival of these bird species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these buzzard species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Buteo buteo
Species:B. buteo
Binomial name:Buteo buteo
Distribution:Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent and Africa;
Feeding habits:small birds, small mammals, lizards and insects;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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