A young turkey vulture
A young turkey vulture
An adult turkey vulture
An adult turkey vulture
Range of the buzzard called buteo
Range of the buzzard called buteo
Buzzard chicks
Buzzard chicks
Close-up of a buteo
Close-up of a buteo
A buteo in flight
A buteo in flight
Topic(s):   Alpine Animals, Forest Animals, Mountain Animals, Raptors, Woodland Animals
Quick Facts
Type of Animal bird
Habitat woodlands, cliffs, farmland, forests with large clearings
Diet small mammals, insects, carrion (dead animals)
Migration mostly no
Male male
Female hen
Baby chick
Group wake, flock
Predators of eggs/young other raptors
Predators of adult birds other raptors
Endangered no

In North America, buzzard usually means vulture. The name often means turkey vulture. Sometimes it refers to hawks that are pesky. The red-tailed hawk is sometimes called a buzzard.

In Europe, buzzard means hawk. There are no vultures in Europe. When settlers first came to North America, they saw vultures. They did not know what vultures were. They probably called them buzzards after the hawks from home. The buzzard is a hawk called buteo.

The buteo can be found in most of Europe and into Asia. It is brown. Its body is about 20 inches long. Its wingspan can be up to 60 inches. The buzzard is a slow flier. Its wings look like a ragged moth. It hunts during the day. It looks for prey while it glides.

In spring, the male buzzard tries to attract a mate. It rises high in the air. Then it plunges down. This is called a “roller coaster.” Buzzards mate for life. The couple builds a big nest. They build it in a tree or on a cliff. Usually, two to three eggs are laid. The eggs are white or bluish. They have spots. The eggs hatch in about 35 days.

The buzzard almost disappeared. In the 1800's, gamekeepers killed most of them. Then a disease killed many rabbits. There was not enough food for the buzzards. There are more rabbits now. People do not kill many buzzards. The buzzard has made a comeback.

Resource information

Smith, Guy N. Buzzard. Retrieved from http://www.birdsofbritain.co.uk/bird-guide/buzzard.asp

Storer, Pat. (2015). Animal Terms. Retrieved from http://www.treasureranch.com/treasure/rzuinfofiles/terms.html

Turkey Vulture Society. Turkey Vulture. Retrieved from http://vulturesociety.homestead.com/TVFacts.html

Young Peoples Trust for the Environment. Buzzard. Retrieved from http://www.ypte.org.uk/animal/buzzard/57

Citation information

APA Style:        Buzzard. (2015, March). Retrieved from Facts4Me at http://www.facts4me.com

MLA Style:       "Buzzard." Facts4Me. Mar. 2015. http://www.facts4me.com.

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