Long-legged Buzzard
Buteo rufinus

– medium-sized raptor, slightly larger than Common Buzzard
– diurnal migrant
– migrates singly or in small, very loose flocks
– often mixed with other raptors


Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus cirtensis, AD
BIF1461, 27/12/2012, Morocco, Mathias Putze
light morph, unmarked fox-red tail with slim subterminal band, scaly pale fringed LC and MC contrasting to uniform dark GC and PC, barring of remiges poorly visible from above

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus cirtensis, AD
BIF1462, 27/12/2012, Morocco, Mathias Putze
light morph same as BIF1462, less distinct dark carpal patch as in ssp. rufinus, aged by plain tail and wings with distinct broad dark trailing edge, wings held in slight ‘V’ when soaring

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus cirtensis, AD
BIF1463, 27/12/2012, Morocco, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1461, note contrast in remiges from broad dark trailing edge to fine bars and less black in outer primaries -> Common Buzzard), slightly different proportions than ssp. rufinus (e.g. shorter winged)

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, 2CY
BIF1449, 29/03/2012, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
JUV-plumage birds start moult (inner primaries) already in winter, note pale iris, pale fringed GC, paler head and tail, eagle-like head

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, AD
BIF1450, 27/01/2015, Quba, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
dark rufous morph, note dark iris, pale primary patch, different generations of AD remiges, scaly MC

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, AD
BIF1451, 27/01/2015, Quba, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
dark rufous morph same as BIF1450, uniform dark rufous body and underwing coverts, slightly paler head, darker carpal patch

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, 1CY
BIF1452, 22/08/2011, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
longer-tailed than in AD, similar to -> 1CY Common Buzzard ssp. vulpinus but note long legs, dark flanks, pale sparsely marked tail and dark carpal patch

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, 2CY
BIF1454, 11/04/2011, Kyzylkum, Kazakhstan, Patrick Franke
moult gap in primaries typical for 2CY birds in spring, note greyish head and pale, unmarked tail

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, 2CY
BIF1455, 11/04/2011, Kyzylkum, Kazakhstan, Patrick Franke
same as BIF1454, note strong contrast between paler coverts and dark secondaries

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, 2CY
BIF1456, 11/04/2011, Kyzylkum, Kazakhstan, Patrick Franke
same as BIF1454, wings appear very long, dark flanks, growing primaries showing AD pattern with broad dark terminal band

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, 2CY
BIF1457, 20/04/2011, Sauran, Kazakhstan, Patrick Franke
light morph, very pale grey from below but dark carpal patch and flanks, a hint of dark GC band, new inner primaries with AD pattern

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, AD
BIF1458, 23/04/2011, Qarakemer, Kazakhstan, Patrick Franke
fox red morph, wing with comparatively narrow, indistinct trailing edge, thus probably young AD, unmarked reddish tail

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, 2CY
BIF1459, 24/04/2011, Qarakemer, Kazakhstan, Patrick Franke
resembling -> Rough-legged Buzzard but note unbarred tail and underwing with faint dark GC band

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, 2CY
BIF1460, 25/04/2011, Stary Talap, Kazakhstan, Patrick Franke
extremely pale light morph, almost completely unmarked pallid grey body with only dark thighs, dark carpal patch still diagnostic

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo r. rufinus, AD
Common Buzzard Buteo b. menetriesi (left)
BIF1453, 14/09/2016, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
dark rufous morph, wings with broad dark trailing edge particularly contrasting to white primary panel, unmarked pale reddish tail, dark carpal patch, 4th outermost primary growing during regular moult

voice: usually nonvocal during migration

comparison species:
European Honey Buzzard (v)
Crested Honey Buzzard (v)
Common Buzzard (v)
Rough-legged Buzzard (v)
Upland Buzzard (v)

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