Long-legged Buzzard

Long-legged Buzzard, Arendbuizerd, Adlerbussard, Búteo-mouro, Busardo Moro

Spotted on our property Monte Horizonte in the Alentejo region of Portugal   

The Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) is a bird of prey.

Long-legged Buzzard Birding Portugal
Long-legged Buzzard

It is similar in appearance to the Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus), but larger (approximate length 60–65 cm / 24″) and more robust. There are many different colour forms, but usually Long-leggeds have a clear orange tint to the plumage, red or orange tail, pale head and largely white underwings. 

There is usually a distinctive black carpal patch and dark trailing edge to the wing. The rump and “trousers” are often dark or deep rufous. Plumage varies from ghostly pale individuals to very dark ones. Some plumages are almost similar to those of the Steppe Buzzard, the eastern subspecies of the Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus), but Long-legged Buzzards have longer wings and are more like Rough-Legged buzzards or even a small Aquila eagle.

It inhabits dry open plains of northern Africa, southeastern Europe, west and central Asia east to China, and across central India. Recent sightings indicate that there is a small population in the Apulian region of south-eastern Italy. Open, uncultivated areas, with high bushes, trees, cliffs or hillocks are favoured as nesting areas. Younger birds disperse north of breeding grounds and there are records from Northern Europe. The breeding population in Greece is around 60 pairs.

Reforestation in the Judean Mountains in Israel is displacing populations of the Long-legged Buzzard, and the species is moving into the Judean Foothills and competing with the Short-toed Snake Eagle there.

It feeds mostly on small rodents, although it will also take lizards, snakes, small birds and large insects.

Long-legged Buzzard Birding Portugal
Long-legged Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard Birding Portugal
Long-legged Buzzard

Other synonyms:

Afrikaans: Langbeenjakkalsvoel, Langbeenjakkalsvoël
Catalan: Aligot rogenc
Catalan (Balears): Aligot rogenc
Czech: Káne belochvostá, kánì bìlochvostá
Danish: Ørnevåge
German: Adlerbussard
English: Longlegged Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Red-legged buzzard
Esperanto: Aglobuteo
Spanish: Busardo Moro, Buzardo Moro, Ratonero moro
Estonian: stepiviu
Basque: Aligot rogenc, Zapelatz handia
Finnish: Arohiirihaukka
French: Buse féroce, Buse variable
Galician: Aligot rogenc, Miñato mouro
Hungarian: Pusztai ölyv
Icelandic: Arnvákur
Italian: Poiana codabianca
Japanese: nishioonosuri
Latin: Buteo ferox, Buteo rufinus
Lithuanian: Ilgakojis suopis, Stepinis suopis
Dutch: Arend buizerd, Arendbuizerd
Norwegian: Ørnvåk
Polish: kurhannik, kurhannik, myszolów kurhannik
Portuguese: búteo mouro, Búteo-mouro, Bútio-mouro
Romansh: Girun pe lung
Russian: Kurgannik
Slovak: Myšiak hrdzavý
Slovenian: rjasta kanja
Albanian: Huta bishtbardhë
Swedish: Örnvråk
Swahili: Shakivale Miguu-mirefu

Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Holiday Portugal for birders to see birds on your trip.

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