What do Buzzards Eat?

By Harry Green

Interesting observations continue to come in and I shall be pleased to receive more reports. Eventually I will draw them all together. Buzzards do seem to be versatile hunters - no wonder they are doing well!

From Peter Weeks:

Twice this year I have watched buzzards catch and carry off collared doves on our farm. The doves were feeding on the ground on both occasions when the buzzards pounced on them. Like Michael Southall I find being in a noisy tractor makes a good bird hide! Most birds will come very close, acting normally, but once I'm out of the cab they keep well away.

Last week our farm worker was chisel ploughing as he saw a buzzard (which had been keeping him company) land on a rook and carry it off, and found the rook to be still alive but obviously injured. He thinks it was a young rook. After he returned to his tractor the buzzard was very soon back and finished his meal.

From Shaun Micklewright

Whilst birding last June at Ashelworth Ham Nature Reserve, Glos., I was lucky enough to observe a buzzard crash into the roadside reed bed and emerge rather bedraggled clutching a young moorhen. It flew to a nearby tree and began plucking, but possibly distracted by the mle of waterfowl it had aroused, it flew further away to another tree to resume feeding.

In March this year from my car I observed a buzzard on the ground feeding on the remains of a female mallard at Wilden Marsh, Kidderminster, but due to FMD restrictions I was unable to establish whether it was a fresh kill or carrion.

From Ann Fells

Dead rabbit in the lane to Lower Smite Farm this morning 31st May: was whole at 9 am. About 10 am a buzzard and a crow were sitting next to it and eating from its belly - both flew off as I drove closer!


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