Buzzards, Hares and Crows

Mike Southall

On the 2nd of June 2012 I was discing a field near Elmley Lovett prior to planting. The field had some weedy areas, which had been sprayed off. I disturbed a young hare which ran away a short distance. A dark-plumaged Buzzard began hovering five metres over the hares location. The Buzzard swooped, but the hare managed to escape. A second bird, the female, with a white crescent on her chest, joined in the attack and after several tumbles the hare seemed doomed.

At this point I decided to even the odds, and set off diagonally across the field at full speed. I managed to get between the desperate hare and the birds close behind. As I dismounted the tractor, the hare continued to run and was attacked by a Carrion Crow which had joined in the melee. The young hare dived into thick cover under a large pylon in the centre of the field.

One of the Buzzards flew back to the pylon about ten minutes later. It perched low down and was obviously looking for the hare. It failed to spot it, and was eventually mobbed and driven off by a Carrion Crow.

The Buzzards nested nearby and had not been able to spot the hare until it was disturbed. A little later, I disturbed an adult hare in another field, around 300 metres away, which was possibly the mother.