What Do Buzzards Eat? All You Need To Know

Buzzards looking for pray

What Do Buzzards Eat?

Buzzards belong to the Accipitridaeas family, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, and other medium-to large-sized raptors. The common buzzard is the most common raptor in Europe, with an estimated population in the millions. What do buzzards eat, since they are enormous, powerful raptors?

Buzzards may hunt a wide range of animals. A broad range of small animals, including rabbits and hedgehogs, are consumed by them. Another important portion of their food is insects and other invertebrates. Both live and dead meat are devoured by buzzards, which prey on carrion.

What Do Buzzards Eat

Buzzards aren’t fussy eaters, since they’re able to take on a wide variety of prey. According to studies, they will happily scavenge carrion and chase practically any animal that is worth a meal.

This is not the case with the honey buzzard. It’s one of the few huge raptors that specializes in eating insects, especially wasps and bee larvae.

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Learn about the raptor’s diet and hunting habits in the next sections!

A Common Buzzard is scavenging for food.

What Do Buzzards Eat In The Wild?

Buteo is a genus with 30 buzzard species. All buzzards are opportunistic predatory predators, despite their differing feeding preferences. For the most part, buzzards consume rodents and small animals, such as voles and rabbits, with the common buzzard having a particular preference for them.

In certain places of Europe, rabbits make up as much as 60% of the diet of a common buzzard. Buzzards are known to hunt woodpeckers, pigeons, and crows, but any bird of a comparable size is fair game.

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However, a few Buteos prefer to hunt birds rather than small animals and rodents. Even though the animal eats carrion, it prefers a live kill over a dead one.

What Do Buzzards Eat

Some buteos, such as the Honey Buzzard, consume nothing but insects, but this is not common among all the birds. Since they are so good at digging up wasp and bee nests and eating the larvae and queens that live inside, honey buzzards have long piqued the interest of scientists and ornithologists Honey Buzzards’ principal dietary source is insects.

What Do Buzzards Eat In The Colder Months?

Buzzard populations in North America and Europe are migratory; they spend their summers in Africa, where they may be found in Britain. No one can say for sure if the buzzard’s typical diet of rodents (both alive and dead), animals, and birds is any different in the winter.

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Instead of being uniform in appearance, honey buzzards have more distinct colouration and patterning. Bee and wasp larvae are honey buzzards’ summer diet, but they are predicted to convert to more “typical” raptor prey in the winter, including rodents, mammals, and birds.

How Do Buzzards Get Their Prey?

Buzzards often hunt by swooping down from a perch or hovering near the ground to catch their prey by surprise. Instead of swooping in from above, buzzards prefer to hunt close to the ground.

What Do Buzzards Eat

One last time, let’s talk about the Honey Buzzard, a bird known for digging its nests deep into the earth. Because of their enormous talons and hooked beaks, they can dig down to a depth of 40 cm. When it comes to hunting, honey buzzards are no different from any other species of buzzard.

Are Buzzards Scavengers?

In fact, buzzards are not scavengers at all, as is frequently assumed. They’re opportunistic predators that can feed on anything. They’re more like omnivores.

Even though turkey vultures don’t belong to the Buteo genus, they are frequently referred to as “turkey buzzards” by people in North America.

What Do Buzzards Eat

The Accipitridae family includes both buzzards and turkey vultures, yet they are just a few generations apart in terms of their genetics.

Turkey vultures (sometimes known as “Turkish buzzards”) and true buzzards are both members of the Buteo genus (also known as “Buffalo vultures”). However, despite the fact that buzzards do eat carrion, it is just a tiny portion of their diet.

What Does A Newborn Buzzard Eat?

To feed a chick, parents frequently provide portions of meat that have been removed from a living or decayed cadaver.

Tips For Attracting Buzzards To Your Garden

Common buzzards may be found in Scotland and on the Isle of Wight. In the Scottish Highlands, North Wales and Cumbria, it is possible to lure buzzards to your yard with leftover meat.

The best time to search for buzzards in your garden is early in the morning or late at night. Swooping over your garden, you’ll nearly always spot them.

Do Buzzards Eat Pigeons?

Birds like pigeons and crows are easy prey for buzzards. Pigeons will be hunted to the maximum degree, both in the air and on the ground.

Do Buzzards Eat Seagulls?

Many seagulls are too large for buzzards to eat. However, immature seagulls or seagull fledglings are more vulnerable.

Do Buzzards Eat Cats?

Cats, in contrast to buzzards and other raptors, are challenging prey for the majority of birds of prey. Cats have razor-sharp teeth and claws, which make them ideal food for other predators, such as wolves and bears. Consequently, the frequent buzzard doesn’t seem to be a common cat-killing predator in the area.

Smaller buzzards, such as the Upload buzzard, which is found in Mongolia and China, as well as the black-chested buzzard-eagle, found in South America, may have a different story to tell.

Do Buzzards Eat Squirrels?

That buzzards are capable of eating squirrels is undeniable, which may account for a considerable portion of their rodent diet.

Do Buzzards Eat Rabbits?

Buzzards usually eat rabbits, but As much as 60% of the food of common buzzards may be made up of rabbits in Europe. If they can get their hands on rabbits, the buzzards will consume them. Buzzards often hunt for young rabbits or the tiniest rabbit species in the vicinity, although certain species may take down fully grown adults as well.

Do Buzzards Eat Crows?

Crows are by far the most frequent birds preyed upon and eaten by buzzards. Buzzards frequently hunt crow fledglings, which they chase both in the air and on the ground as a regular prey item.

Do Buzzards Eat Mice?

Quite a few mice may find their way into the diet of a buzzard. Prior to swooping in, buzzards like to perch on a post or tree. Because mice are small and difficult to trap, hunting them requires great precision. The only birds that are good at grabbing them are buzzards. Buzzards are able to hunt and consume rats in a manner similar to mice.

Do Buzzards Eat Blackbirds?

Buzzards often eat blackbirds and other small birds.

Do Buzzards Eat Live Animals?

The main diet of the majority of buzzards consists of rodents and other small, living creatures. During the lean winter months, when live prey is uncommon, they will nevertheless consume carrion if given the opportunity.

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