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juvenile common buzzard?

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Offline lucy

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« on: April 02, 2010, 09:15 AM »
Could this raptor be a juvenile common buzzard?  It was soaring very high, but the tail is clearly without any terminal band. 

At what age does a buzzard stop being a juvenile?

Offline Vicente Malagon

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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2010, 10:53 AM »
Hi Lucy.

Where did you see it? For me it's a juv Long-legged Buzzard. Although plumage of the Common Buzzard is very variable, in this case you have to pay attention to the size of the wings (very long, powerful) and the colour of the feathers, mostly red in your pic. I've never seen a Common Buzzard like this in my area (La Mancha). In any case it's confusing. This is the most difficult ID in the field.

Vicente. 
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Offline glennie

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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 19:44 PM »
Long-legged b. has a black bar along the end of the tail in my book. Can't see one in the photo.

Or is that because it is a juvenile?

Offline lucy

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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 20:23 PM »
Hi Vicente and Glennie,

When I looked in Collins, I got excited about the lack of a black band on the tail, as this seemed to match the Long-legged buzzard.  It was flying in the north of Catalunya in the Emporda, near the coast and the French border, where all kinds of interesting migrants turn up.

But the pale area in the centre of the breast seems to match Common Buzzard.  As you say, very difficult.

Maybe Peter or John C will be around to take a look!

Offline Vicente Malagon

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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2010, 21:58 PM »
Hi again.

I think it's very important to know where this bird was seen. In this case another possibility could be the Rough-Legged Buzzard. But I'm still thinking in a juv Long-Legged. Just watch the carpal patch, very common in the Long-Legged Buzzard and very conspicuous in the pic. Another aspect is the face, very uncommon orange in the Long-Legged... So, hard to say. We need extra help!

Vicente.
Birding trips in La Mancha & Sierra Morena (Spain), a hidden privilege
www.naturaindomita.com/birdwatching-trips

Merry Christmas and Happy New 2012
http://youtu.be/YsyOyaqMPjs

Offline John C

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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2010, 18:55 PM »
Apologies for not commenting earlier - we flew out to visit our daughter in Canada on 1/04, but got stuck in the great Icelandic Volcano fiasco so didn't get back until 24/04.  We then had those nice inspectors in for an snap inspection at school so I've been a bit distracted!
I've seen Long-legged Buzzard, of the eastern European variety, well, but have not seen the North African race (which is the one that occurs in Spain) for certain.  (I had a "probable" Long-legged near cadiz last summer, but the wretched thing turned away just as it was looking really good - I got got all the features, but I like to be 100% sure!).  Thus I'm not best placed to give a definitive answer.  The relatively poor quality of the photo doesn't help either, but then raptors are hard to photograph.

However, I think that this is probably a Common Buzzard.  To me this bird has the proportions I'd expect from a Common Buzzard (Long-legged are subtly longer winged and more eagle like although the N. African race is less so).  I'd agree that it's a juvenile as it lacks the dark trailing edge to the wing.  Precise plumage details are hard to be certain of in this photo, but the dark marks on the underparts should, I think, look more like 'trousers' and these seem to far up the body to fit this description.  It is certainly not too dissimilar to Common Buzzards - they are incredibly variable - I've seen in the UK.  Neither in terms of shape nor plumage does it fit Rough-legged Buzzard so I think that species can be ruled out (it's also the rarest in Spain).  In some ways this bird resembles Steppe Buzzard (an eastern race of Common).  So whilst I cannot definitively say it's a bog standard Common Buzzard, I don't think that any of the observable features in the photo rule this species out so, as it is by far the most likely species to be seen in Spain, that's what I think it is,

John   

Offline lucy

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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2010, 23:22 PM »
Thanks for that John

Offline Vicente Malagon

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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 23:54 PM »
Hi all,

There is an interesting report in the Quercus magazine (nÂș 293) about the first nesting pair of Long-Legged Buzzard in the Iberian Peninsula in the Cadiz Province. In pag. 33 of this magazine you can find a picture of the breeding adult Buteo rufinus of the northern african race (cirtensis very similar to the pic included in this post.

Vicente.
Birding trips in La Mancha & Sierra Morena (Spain), a hidden privilege
www.naturaindomita.com/birdwatching-trips

Merry Christmas and Happy New 2012
http://youtu.be/YsyOyaqMPjs