• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Buzzard near Cologne, Germany (1 Viewer)

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi everyone,

last Sunday, I took this picture of a buzzard near Cologne in Germany.

20211010_161940.jpg

When it flew up to the branch it sits on in the picture, I noticed that the tail was a very warm brown. So I set up scope while the buzzard patiently waited, keeping an eye on me all the time :)

It doesn't look like any Common Buzzard I've seen before, and ssp. vulpinus seems to be unlikely in Germany, while some of photographs I found of Long-legged Buzzards (which I've never seen before) almost look like the one of my mystery bird.

So, could this be a Long-legged Buzzard?

Many thanks in advance!

Regards,

Henning
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Henning,
with such a distinct and clear barring to the tail, this is no Long legged Buzzard (saw just one before). Orange or rufous hues like your bird are easy within variation for CB breeding breeding in Germany.
Therefore I see no reason for suspecting ssp vulpinus
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi Alexander,

with such a distinct and clear barring to the tail, this is no Long legged Buzzard (saw just one before). Orange or rufous hues like your bird are easy within variation for CB breeding breeding in Germany.
Therefore I see no reason for suspecting ssp vulpinus

Excellent, thanks! Do you know whether these variation ranges are regionally different? I'm fairly sure I've never seen one like that in Northern Germany, where I do most of my birding.

Regards,

Henning
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
First: thank you Jörn, excellent and interesting drawings.

Hello Henning,
this is a question, I would like to get an answer, too.

Yes, CB with orange or and rufous/reddish hues are found everywhere in Europe, but thats not your question I assume (right?):

During recent years, I got the impression that such birds are slightly more frequent during breeding season in NE-Germany than in SW-Germany. But they are rare.
But they are more frequent during autumn and winter and part of the "coloured, white and white patterned CB". Got some interesting input some time ago from Markus Albrecht.

I hope for more comments to this question, and there are already answers here. Thank you Jörn and Henning for this.
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi Jörn,

And this one I observed near Braunschweig in 2010:
https://flic.kr/p/2k4Y4XQ probably closer to your bird

Thanks a lot for the beautiful drawing! :)

This one and the one on the photographs are really quite close to my bird, only the terminal band on the tail is not as pronounced as on the other birds. I noticed you remarked on that wide terminal band in your field notes, too!

I really love Buteo buteo for its variabity, it never gets boring even with it being such a common species! :-D

Regards,

Henning
 

stevethehydra

Well-known member
Here's a captive Buteo I photographed recently at the National centre for Birds of Prey in Helmsley, North Yorkshire:

It was labelled "Eurasian Buzzard", which I assume was meant to mean B. buteo. I thought it seemed quite large for that species (it was next to a Yellow-billed Kite and a Harris Hawk, and was clearly the largest of the three).

I have also seen a buzzard with a very red tail (if I remember rightly, it looked unbarred at the time) flying over the M5 motorway near Wellington, Somerset in summer 2019. There were 3 pairs of Common Buzzards flying close together and the red-tailed bird was in the pair nearest the road. Unfortunately as a passenger in a car with my camera packed up in my bag in the boot I couldn't attempt to photograph it! I have heard other reports of red-tailed buzzards from SW England.

Buteo sp. are known to hybridise in captivity, and an escaped Harris Hawk (not even usually regarded as in the Buteo genus) has been documented hybridising with a wild Common Buzzard in the UK (there are, or were, good photos of the hybrid offspring on Flickr). While of course rufinus/vulpinus/cirtensis influence is possible for these birds, I have to wonder whether hybridisation between CB and (captive or escaped) Red-tailed Hawks (B. jamaicensis) could be another factor involved. I would probably have assumed the captive bird to be a RTH if not for the sign on its perch saying "Eurasian Buzzard"...
 

Hauksen

Forum member
Hi Alexander,

Hello Henning,
with such a distinct and clear barring to the tail, this is no Long legged Buzzard (saw just one before). Orange or rufous hues like your bird are easy within variation for CB breeding breeding in Germany.
Therefore I see no reason for suspecting ssp vulpinus

I just received an email from the ornitho.de identification help, whom I also sent the above photograph, and they basically agree with you. They note that Long-legged Buzzard can almost certainly be excluded for structural reasons, while a young ssp. vulpinus can not be exluded with certainty (but is unlikely).

They also explain that only the very dark morph of ssp. vulpinus can be identified with certainty, given excellent photographs of wing underside and tail. The brown morph, which is similar to the bird I photographed, cannot be distinguished optically from ssp. buteo with certainty at all.

And they confirm that some Common Buzzards do indeed have the very red tail of "my" bird - so their conclusion is that I should enter the bird as "Buzzard, unidentified" in the database, along with the photograph - which I did :)

Regards,

Henning
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

Users who are viewing this thread

Top