Wednesday, 29 January 2014

162. Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus)

Rough-legged Buzzards are the most northerly-occurring of the buzzards - they breed in northern Scandinavia and Siberia, and winter in parts of central Europe. They occasionally occur as passage migrants in the UK. Although their plumage can vary somewhat, they are generally pale (compared to the other buzzards at least) and their most obvious feature telling them apart from the other buzzards is their white tail with a dark edge, and usually a few more dark bars too in the males. The wings are pale below with barring, dark carpal patches and a dark trailing edge. The female has a dark patch on her belly. Juveniles are a more yellowy buff on their underwing secondary coverts, head and breast, and have a dark belly patch, diffuse trailing edge to their wings and tail, and on their upperwings pale bases to their primaries. Rough-legged Buzzards are larger and longer-winged than Common Buzzards and tend to hover more; when gliding they raise their inner wings and keep their primaries flat, bending at the carpal joints - Common Buzzards tend to keep their whole wings flatter with less of a bend. Their preferred habitat is open areas, both lowland and upland, such as tundra, mountain valleys, marshes and farmland.

Rough-legged Buzzard, ©Aquila-chrysaetos, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Rough-legged Buzzard painting.
Mmm, pleased with this one - portraits are my favourite!

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