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Long-legged Buzzard: Wikis

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Long-legged Buzzard
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes (or Accipitriformes, q.v.)
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: B. rufinus
Binomial name
Buteo rufinus
(Cretzschmar, 1829)
Light green shows breeding range, blue shows winter range, dark green is permanent range.

The Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) is a bird of prey. It prefers the dry open plains of Iran, Turkey, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary and feeds mostly on small rodents, although it will also take lizards, snakes, small birds and large insects.

It is similar in appearance to the Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus), but larger (approximate length 60–65cm / 24") and more robust. There are many different colour forms, but usually Long-leggeds have a clear orange tint to the plumage, red or orange tail, pale head and largely white underwings. There is usually a distinctive black carpal patch and dark trailing edge to the wing. The rump and "trousers" are often dark or deep rufous. Plumage varies from ghostly pale individuals to very dark ones. Some plumages are almost similar to those of the Steppe Buzzard, the eastern subspecies of the Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus), but Long-legged Buzzards have longer wings and are more like Rough-Legged buzzards or even a small Aquila eagle.

Open, uncultivated areas, with high bushes, trees, cliffs or hillocks are favoured as nesting areas. Younger birds disperse north of breeding grounds and there are records from Northern Europe.

The breeding population in Greece is around 60 pairs. Recent sightings seem to indicate that there is a small population in the Apulian region of south-eastern Italy.

References

External links

  • Bird Guides: Long-legged Buzzard. Identification information and videos. Retrieved 2006-NOV-28.
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