Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Common Buzzard

Ask most people who don't have more than a passing interest in ornithology, what is Britain's most numerous bird of prey and you would have to excuse them for saying it would be the Common Kestrel.
It often comes as a huge surprise for these people when you tell them in fact it is the Common Buzzard.

It's also very surprising just how many people don't even know that the UK is home to Buzzards and a lot of people seem to have this childhood image of Buzzards circling the dead or dying, just like in the old Westerns!

Buzzards were persecuted just like many other Raptors in the 1800's and the UK population faced extinction.
They made a comeback in the 20th century but again faced a major threat to their survival in the 1960's due to farmland pesticides that were making the birds infertile.
The banning of such pesticides has meant a population boom since then and British Buzzards now number over 40,000 pairs.
You're likely to spot Buzzards in just about every habitat these days and one reason for their success is their excellent hunting skills.
No small animal or bird is safe from the grasp of these superb predators and a few weeks back, I watched a Buzzard make light work of a young Rabbit...

So the future looks rosey for the beautiful Common Buzzard and land owners are now beginning to understand the benefits of having these splendid birds around.
After all, I guess you could regard them as natures Gamekeepers...

1 comment:

  1. Great pics :)
    I love the last one - beautiful colors