Buzzards or Hawks ?

Last Thursday our weather changed (for one day only!) and out in the garden I could actually feel some warmth from the sun. It was time to do some garden tidying after a long hard winter, in fact I just about filled the brown garden waste wheelie bin and there’s still a lot more to tackle.

But it wasn’t long before I hear a familiar plaintive cry – that of what I think are buzzards who seem to spend a lot of time wheeling around in the sky calling to each other. Is it a mating ritual I wonder? Well it’s getting on for that time of the year. There were four of them up there, presumably having fun, you can only see three in the wee video that I took of them though.


There are an awful lot of buzzards and hawks around wherever we go in Scotland, numbers just seem to have exploded in recent years. I suppose that means there must be plenty for them to eat.

I like the photo below as you can fairly clearly see the wings of the nearest bird. I’m wondering if these are hawks or buzzards, do you have any idea?

3 Buzzards

8 thoughts on “Buzzards or Hawks ?

  1. This video has the sound of buzzards calling, sounds much like what you have recorded.

    No buzzards here: the day-flying raptors are the Australasian Harrier, generally referred to as a “hawk”, which seems to be about the size of the buzzard, and preys on rabbits and hares, and roadkill (which is unwise of it); and the NZ Falcon which preys on smaller birds in the air.

    Your video is excellent!

  2. It’s hard to identify birds from one country to another. Here in the United States, especially on the east coast, we have turkey vultures ( They’re huge, with wingspans of 5′ to 6′, very dark with light color under their wings. They don’t have a call or a song as far as I can tell, either from experience (we have a lot of them here, some roost in a neighbor’s tree) or research, but they can make a hissing sound. They eat carrion, so when we see them circling silently above, they’re looking for dead animals. When I hear the high pitched call on your video, I think of hawks.

    • Margaret,
      We used to get sparrowhawks in the old garden, male and female, the females are much bigger. She used our back path as a dining table and once I went out there when she had finished and all that was left was a few feathers and one claw! Oh well, they have to eat too I suppose.

  3. That’s odd. I replied to this and added a link … clearly I forgot to press send! But I agree, they’re buzzards. And the link was explaining that the reasons we see them a lot at this time of year is because the males are displaying to the females. (We have plenty too at the moment. I love watching them soar.)

    • Sandra,
      I assumed it was some sort of mating display but they do seem to do it at all times of the year here. I can imagine that the farmers will be complaining about having so many of them around, especially the sheep farmers.

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