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Common Buzzard, white morph in Sweden earlier today (1 Viewer)

Aladdin

Registered User
Supporter
Thailand
Dear members and bird watchers!

I drove past this bird on the highway in Southern Sweden this morning on my way to northern Sweden to look at the Auroara Borealis and to stay in Raptor hides.

The bird was sitting next to the highway so no good pictures. The best picture I managed to get is when the bird take off and by the pattern under the wings I managed to ID the bird as a Common Buzzard, white morph.

The Common Buzzard is the only bird I can find with two dark stripes. One around the wing and one short almost in the middle of the wing. Is my ID correct?

Kind regards and happy birding!
Aladdin
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Aladdin,
your id is correct, its a Common Buzzard. Most similar is a Rough legged Buzzard, for this:
-tarsi seems to be not feathered enough
-just visible faint barring to tail feathers is wrong
-lack of a distinct black band at or near end of tail is wrong
-pale comma instead of a extensive black carpal patch

Other raptors or owls are even less similar
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Yes, agree this is Common Buzzard - in addition to features pointed out by Alex above note:
  • Compact, relatively broad short-winged appearance - RLB nearer to LLB in proportions (although juveniles have narrower wings)
  • Heavily barred remiges especially on the full length of the secondary feathers - RLB has limited and finer barring more restricted to distal end of feathers so looks much whiter on the underwing
  • A typical juvenile RLB would show less marked underwing coverts with a distinct subterminal band on tail (of variable thickness) and dusky dark trailing edge of wing
  • Belly comparatively lightly streaked - typical juvenile RLB would have a much darker more solid belly patch.
Not a ‘pale morph’ but just a lighter plumaged individual which seems to be quite common in Scandinavian/Northern European birds.

Also worth pointing out, RLB are migratory, wintering in central/eastern Europe.
 
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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
There are birds paler than this one in southern Sweden, about 7% of the population if I remember correctly.

Niels
There’s a distinct pale morph of Common Buzzard (as opposed to pale individuals) which have (similar to RLB) very minimal barring in the remiges and appear very white underwing, with a white head, which can often be seen in Sweden
See Pale Morph Juvenile - scroll down

and, the ones I am referring to, like the OP bird, just lighter ‘normal’ coloured Common Buzzards which are also quite common especially in Southern Sweden and Northern Europe in general.
see here

(The point re the OP is it is not a Pale/Light Morph imo but a fairly typical ‘normal’ plumage of the region)
 
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Aladdin

Registered User
Supporter
Thailand
Thank you very much all of you!

The reason why I mention "WHITE MORPH" or as I learned here, the correct term "PALE MORPH" is that a few kilometers from this observation I spotted a "DARK MORPH" Also along the highway so no good picture. I was confused about the different colours so I studied and I learned that the Common Buzzard have two different morphs.

Your help and information have been very informative and I have learned a lot, cheers!

Kind regards and happy birding
 

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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
’light morph’ or ‘pale morph’ Aladdin is fine 😉

Common Buzzards are highly variable, they can be very dark like the one above, or very pale indeed (like the light morph in my first link above), then numerous variations in between including the OP bird!
 

Aladdin

Registered User
Supporter
Thailand
Hi Aladdin, I must apologise, I realised I used capital letters in my posts for other species of bids as force of (bad!) habit

LLB = Long-legged Buzzard (rare)
RLB = Rough-legged Buzzard (juvenile plumage)

some more Common Buzzards
Light morph (white head and white frosting on upperparts)
Thanks!

When I see some of thesepictures I realise that I might have been lucky to guess on Common Buzzard based on the wing pattern. But the last looks like my bird, the look I got and it was white breasted with darker patterns.

Kind regards and happy birding!
Aladdin
 
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

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