The Buzzard is easily identifiable since it is larger than any other breeding bird found in Madeira, though sometimes we get some vagrant eagles.
The Buzzard’s feet are yellow and feather-free. When the bird is in flight, small, lighter colored bars on its rounded wings and on its tail feathers contrast with the bird’s overall dark tone. The Buzzard generally glides in wide circles, taking advantage of rising currents of warm air.
The Buzzard occurs abundantly throughout the island of Madeira. Although it is also found in Porto Santo, the Buzzard is much less common. In the past, the Buzzard was also found on the Desertas islands. However, these birds disappeared at the time of the project for restoring the land habitat of the Deserta Grande island, in spite of the fact that the Buzzard was not a target species.
Buzzards are found in different habitats such as zones of indigenous and exotic forest, areas with sparse or creeping vegetation, agricultural areas and zones with human settlements.
The Buzzard nests high up, in densely vegetated ravines or in tall trees, so that it always has a wide field of view from the nest and can spot any approaching danger. The nesting pair starts building the nest in February and begins incubating the eggs (two or three) in mid-April / May. The young birds are ready to leave the nest three to four months later.
Madeiran name: Manta Madeira and Porto Santo Islands resident breeder Social: Family groups Length: 50 – 56 cm Status: Secure
Correia-Fagundes, C & H Romano. 2011. Common Buzzard Buteo buteo buteo. Available at www.madeirabirds.com/common_buzzard_buteo_buteo_buteo [Accessed "Date"].