Worcestershire Record No. 25 November 2008 p. 10


Buzzard eating woodpecker!

Richard Medley noted this on the Malvern Bird eGroup:

Finally, especially for Harry, on Tuesday 24 June 2008, I looked through a window overlooking the field behind the house just in time to see a buzzard drop the last few feet onto its prey. Long grass obscured our view but we aware that a pair of green woodpeckers were making a great commotion: eventually the buzzard flew into nearby trees carrying a dead woodpecker fledgling. The woodpeckers were considerably agitated and could be heard calling for the rest of the morning. We have seen more green woodpeckers this year than in previous ones and have also noticed many Jays flying in the open and even visiting our feeders. Normally once the leaves come out we don't see them until the acorn season.

A couple of 'snippets' about Buzzards:

John Clarke

On 14th September a group “thermalling” and displaying together over Kemerton. This continued for about 10 minutes with birds arriving to join whilst others drifted away. Maximum count at any one time was 12.

A local resident with large 'wild' gardens claims that Buzzard predate moorhens from his pond when they come off the water to graze.

Buzzard eating insects

Mark Turner

On my arrival at Broadway Gravel Pit Nature Reserve on 25th September 2008, heavy grey cloud was building and threatening to break some rather pleasant recent weather. However, directly overhead I observed a Common Buzzard Buteo buteo soaring, so leaning back against the tailgate of my car I assumed a reasonably comfortable position to watch at length. The bird was apparently in very fine fettle; no gaps to be seen in the wings or tail and an even-edged line to the trailing edges of the wings suggested a juvenile of the current year.

Occasionally the Buzzard would halt and hover momentarily and once lunged forward with the talons followed by a beak to claws action. This somewhat surprising manoeuvre suggested to me that the bird had caught winged-insect prey which it ate in mid-air, very much in the manner of a Hobby Falco subbuteo. Hawking for flying insects is certainly a common feeding method for members of the Kite family, but I don’t recall seeing a Buzzard do this before.

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