Common Buzzard
Buteo buteo

– medium-sized raptor
– diurnal migrant, prefers over-land routes
– migrates singly or in very loose flocks
– at migration bottlenecks several hundreds to thousands may flock


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, 2CY
BIF1414, 16/01/2010, Greifswald, Germany, Michael Heiß
extremely pale light morph
– more difficult to age than darker birds
– typical JUV tail and wing pattern lacking obvious broad trailing edge


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, 1CY
BIF1408, 04/10/2014, Omoe, Denmark, Michael Heiß
intermediate morph
– wing with less distinct dusky trailing edge
– light iris (dark in AD)


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, 1CY
BIF1406, 04/10/2014, Omoe, Denmark, Michael Heiß
intermediate morph
– dark carpal patch contrasting to paler underwing coverts may resemble Rough-legged Buzzard
-> too solid dark head, no uniform brown belly and underwing coverts too dark patterned


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, 2CY
BIF1359, 07/04/2011, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
intermediate morph
– typical streaked (JUV) rather than barred (AD) chest and belly


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, 1CY
BIF1410, 04/10/2014, Omoe, Denmark, Michael Heiß
dark morph
– more slender wings and longer tail than in AD
– underside never as uniform as in 1CY European Honey Buzzard


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1360, 25/02/2011, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
light morph, more difficult to age than darker birds
– uneven and very broad dusky trailing edge to the wing indicate AD
– typical AD silhouette with short tail and broad wings


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1362, 09/08/2013, Prignitz, Germany, Mathias Putze
light morph
– growing inner primaries giving a narrow-handed impression
– narrow barring at flanks and broad dark trailing edge suggest AD


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1361, 07/09/2012, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
light morph
– very disheveled looking due to active moult
– at least 2 generations of AD remiges


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1411, 04/10/2014, Omoe, Denmark, Michael Heiß
light morph
– dark eye and broad trailing edge suggest AD


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1363, 11/02/2011, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze
light morph
– unusually dark-hooded
– barred flanks if present typical for AD


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1356, 28/04/2013, Prignitz, Germany, Mathias Putze
intermediate morph
– five ‘fingers’ as all Eurasian Buteo sp.


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1352, 01/07/2010, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
dark intermediate morph
– remiges with broad dark tips
– rather uniform brown upperside typical for AD


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1353, 01/07/2010, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1352
– note missing 4th primary during regular moult, giving the impression of a ‘too narrow’ hand


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1354, 10/12/2010, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze
intermediate morph
– very regular barred body and underwing coverts (more irregular streaked in JUV)
– comparatively short tail (slender in straight flight) typical for AD


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1355, 14/06/2013, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
dark morph
– typical silhouette of a circling bird (fanned tail)
– the darker a bird the broader the barring of tail and wings becomes


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1407, 04/10/2014, Omoe, Denmark, Michael Heiß
dark morph
– typical AD, solid dark brown head and breast often with sharp border to barred belly


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, 1CY
BIF1368, 30/10/2013, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze
light intermediate morph, aging as 1CY possible even at greater distance:
– streaked breast
– wing with rather diffuse dusky brown trailing edge


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, 1CY
BIF1369, 03/10/2016, Wilsen, Germany, Roland Neumann
– typical 1CY silhouette: very slender-winged and long-tailed


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, 1CY
BIF2139, 14/08/2017, Innichen, Italy, Roland Neumann
– against light uniformly translucent trailing egde to wing and tail diagnostic for 1CY


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1412, 04/10/2014, Omoe, Denmark, Michael Heiß
dark morph
– if visible, the pale breast band is a good ID feature


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo
BIF1364, 28/03/2011, Erfurt, Germany, Mathias Putze
– not always easy to age


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
BIF1366, 20/03/2013, Hof, Germany, Mathias Putze
intermediate morph
– two almost identical birds with typical AD features


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, 1CY
Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina, 2CY
BIF1365, 09/08/2013, Prignitz, Germany, Mathias Putze
note difference in size


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, 2CY
Hooded Crow Corvus cornix X Carrion Crow Corvus corone
BIF1415, 16/01/2010, Greifswald, Germany, Michael Heiß
same as BIF1414


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo, AD
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus, F
BIF1367, 14/10/2011, Wermsdorf, Germany, Mathias Putze
dark morph, note full crop
– very dark bird similar to dark birds of ssp. vulpinus
– very broad dark trailing edge of wing/terminal band of tail contrasting strongly to whitish proximal part of flight feathers
– rather distict pale breast band points to ssp. buteo


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo
BIF1416, 04/10/2010, Omoe, Denmark, Michael Heiß
– very loose flocking when soaring from one thermal to another


Common Buzzard Buteo b. buteo
BIF1417, 04/10/2010, Omoe, Denmark, Michael Heiß

voice: usually nonvocal during migration

comparison species:
European Honey Buzzard (v)
Crested Honey Buzzard (v)
Rough-legged Buzzard (v)
Long-legged Buzzard (v)
Upland Buzzard (v)
Booted Eagle (v)

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