Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Eurasian Buzzard (Buteo buteo)


French: Buse variable German: Mäusebussard Spanish: Busardo ratonero
Other common names: Common Buzzard

Falco Buteo


, 1758,



Has sometimes been considered conspecific with B. oreophilus, B. trizonatus and also B. brachypterus, and until recently included B. japonicus and B. refectus; closely related to all five, and possibly also to B. jamaicensis and B. ventralis. B. japonicus weakly distinct morphologically from B. buteo and B. refectus#R#R, more so vocally#R and strongly so genetically#R. B. refectus (under the name burmanicus; confusion over correct name now resolved#R#R) separated from B. b. vulpinus on account of size, plumage and vocal differences#R, and this now supported by molecular evidence#R. Has hybridized with B. lagopus in Norway#R and Finland#R, with B. rufinus cirtensis in Strait of Gibraltar region (S Spain)#R, and with B. jamaicensis (escaped captive)#R. Form vulpinus may be approaching species threshold (in which case with menetriesi as a race). Island form bannermani found in one study to be genetically closer to B. socotraensis and B. rufinus#R, and sometimes placed with one or other of those#R (see also B. socotraensis). Some other island races poorly defined and possibly better rejected; thus, rothschildi often subsumed within insularum, harterti within nominate, and arrigonii within pojana. Suggested separation of Spanish population as hispaniae#R generally not accepted. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. b. rothschildi Swann, 1919 – Azores.
  • B. b. harterti Swann, 1919 – Madeira.
  • B. b. insularum Floericke, 1903 – Canary Is.
  • B. b. buteo (Linnaeus, 1758) – Eurasian Buzzard – Europe (except CS region) E to Sweden, Poland, Romania and Turkey; winters in S of range, and irregularly S to W Africa.
  • B. b. arrigonii Picchi, 1903 – Corsica and Sardinia.
  • B. b. pojana (Savi, 1831) – C & S Italy and Sicily.
  • B. b. bannermani Swann, 1919 – Cape Verde Buzzard – Cape Verde Is.
  • B. b. vulpinus (Gloger, 1833) – Steppe Buzzard – Finland and European Russia E to R Yenisey, and S to N Caucasus and C Asia (Altai, Tien Shan); winters mainly in E & S Africa and also in S Asia.
  • B. b. menetriesi Bogdanov, 1879 – S Crimea and Caucasus S to E Turkey and N Iran.
  • Descriptive notes

    40–52 cm; male 427–1180 g, female 486–1360 g; wingspan 109–136 cm. Extremely variable. Generally dark brown above and on most of underbody and... read more


    Main call a loud plaintive mewing squeal “kyaaah” c. 0·5–1 second long and... read more


    Highly variable, but almost always with some degree of tree cover that is required for nests and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Adaptable, basing diet on different prey types, according to local and seasonal availability. Essentially a hunter of small mammals, which... read more


    Laying from late Mar to May (Jan–Apr on Cape Verde Is), varying with latitude. Normally nests in large tree, fairly close to edge of... read more


    Migratory in Scandinavia (wintering in S Sweden), and in most of former USSR; partially migratory... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Thought to be the second or third most common raptor in Europe, with increasing population trends since at least the 1980s... read more

    Recommended citation

    Orta, J., Boesman, P., Marks, J.S. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Eurasian Buzzard (Buteo buteo). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).