A common buzzard perched on a lichen covered stone post on the moorland edge. Derbyshire, Peak District National Park, UK.
About the Common Buzzard:
The Common Buzzard, true to its name, is now the most common and widespread of all UK birds of prey. Adult birds are mostly solitary, frequently seen perched on a tree or post, or circling high overhead scanning the ground for prey. Although their diet mainly consists of small mammals, they will also prey opportunistically on birds, invertebrates, reptiles and even carrion.
Buzzards are a familiar sight in the skies of the UK, often seen soaring effortlessly on the thermals. These majestic birds of prey are a vital part of the ecosystem, helping to keep the populations of rodents and other small mammals in check.
In recent years, buzzards have become increasingly common in the UK, with their population now estimated to be around 80,000 breeding pairs. This is in part due to conservation efforts, which have helped to protect their habitats and food sources.
Despite their size and impressive wingspan, buzzards are relatively shy and elusive birds, and can be difficult to spot on the ground. However, their distinctive call – a high-pitched mewing sound – can often be heard from a distance, alerting keen birdwatchers to their presence.
Buzzards are also known for their aerial displays, which can be a spectacular sight. During courtship, males will perform a series of acrobatic swoops and dives, displaying their agility and strength to potential mates.
Unfortunately, buzzards are sometimes persecuted by gamekeepers and farmers, who see them as a threat to game birds and livestock. However, these practices are illegal and can result in severe penalties.
Overall, buzzards are a fascinating and important part of the UK’s wildlife, and a true symbol of the country’s natural beauty. Their presence in our skies is a reminder of the need to protect and preserve our environment for generations to come.
You can find more about the Common Buzzard here.
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