Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Common Buzzard

I've always considered the word "buzzard" to be synonymous with vulture.  Even the Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the second definition as "any of various large birds of prey (such as the turkey vulture"). The vulture of my youth was the turkey vulture. I'm sure I've used the phrase "ugly little buzzard" with a turkey vulture in mind. The first time I learned any different was our first trip to Africa where we saw an augur buzzard, which looked like a hawk, in northern Kenya. 
In Portugal recently our guide pointed out a common buzzard and I was expecting some kind of vulture. Not another hawk-like bird. 
The common buzzard is found throughout most of Europe, in much of southern Africa and fairly large sections of western and central Asia. 
Like our red-tailed hawk, it is highly variable. It is generally dark above, but has both light and dark versions. I'm not going to get into much detail because I didn't get a great look at it. Even my cropped photos don't give great detail.