'Buzz' and 'Artemis' - European Buzzard
The European Buzzard is the commonest bird of prey in the UK, according to the RSPB. We have several nesting in our area, and they give us the pleasure of watching throughout the Spring and Summer. Even on a fine day in the winter they make use of the thermals as they soar and cry over the hills
Buzzards are normally sedentary, occupying the same area year on year, but as their population expands, so do their stronghold areas. They have an interesting nesting arrangement and frequently have 1-3 nest per pair, but more can be found, and a different nest is used each year. The territory size is not controlled by food availability, as they tend to feed and hunt outside their nesting territory, and very often several buzzards can be found feeding in the same field through the autumn and winter, especially over ploughed land, when the grubs are brought to the surface.
The nest is a substantial structure of branches, twigs, heather and other material and can be about 1m in diameter, with the lining of green material prior to egg laying, and further material added gradually until the youngster fledge. The female lays a clutch of 2-4 eggs in mid April which fledge around 50 - 55 days old and stay with their parents for a further 6-8 weeks.
Buzzards generally feed on small creatures, birds, reptiles and amphibians, and larger insects and earthworms, and generally look for roadkill (carrion). The feeding grounds are often communal, but their hunting perches are defended - we frequently see buzzards on the same post or tree in our area. They locate prey from a perch and then fly directly to it. They may also soar over open terrain, occasionally hanging in the wind before dropping on to the prey and following up the attack on the ground. Alternatively they may be seen walking or standing on the ground looking for invertebrates.
Beautiful majestic birds - a joy to watch.
Here we have two buzzards, one male, Buzz, and one female, Artemis, who are flown for both experience clients, and in the flying display - their antics are amazing!