Rough-Legged Buzzard

The Rough-Legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus) is a medium-sized bird of prey, and a raptor. It is also known as the Rough-Legged Hawk. 

The Rough-Legged Buzzard has brown feathers that can be light-brown or dark-brown, with a lot of speckles or specking. It has more white feathers on its underbelly. It has long, white tail feathers. Its feet are feathered. Its claws are smaller than the claws of most birds of prey. It has dark eyes and a light beige beak.

Rough-Legged Buzzard

It grows to 46-60 centimetres (18-24 inches) tall, with a wingspan of 120-153 centimetres (47-60 inches). 

The Rough-Legged Buzzard is native to north Africa and Eurasia. It prefers dry open land. It migrates south in winter.

It is omnivorous, feeding on small mammals, such as mice, voles, lemmings, squirrels, and sometimes small birds. It hovers in the air, by beathing its wings quickly, until it sees its prey, then it swoops on it, catching it with its sharp claws, called talons.

It is diurnal, hunting and eating during the day time.

It builds a nest on cliffs or in tall trees. It takes 21-28 days to make the large nest from twigs and feathers. The female lays 3-5 eggs, which hatch after about 31 days. The female feeds her chicks for 28-42 days, until they become independent. 

The Rough-Legged Buzzard lives, on average, for 20 years in the wild.

Rough-Legged Buzzard
Rough-Legged Buzzard

[Location of photographs: Tbilisi, Georgia]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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