Red Kite Information & FAQ's

6. Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo

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Common buzzards are becoming a common sight in the Chilterns
The Common buzzard Buteo buteo is often mistaken for a red kite, when seen in areas where the red kite is present.

They are becoming a familiar sight in the Chilterns, possibly as a result of benefiting from the reintroduction of the red kites.


As these buzzard photos show, there are distinct differences between the two birds. The most obvious one being the tail. The buzzard lacks the forked tail, instead having a fan-shaped tail. The bird is rather compact with broad wings, and is slightly smaller than the red kite. When soaring, the buzzard will often lift their wings into a 'V' shape.

Pale Common Buzzard

Plumage varies enormously with common buzzards, from very pale to very dark.
Common Buzzard  Buteo buteo



This particular pale buzzard (photo - left) is regularly seen flying over the Chilterns.












This pair were found in a nest when the Southern England Kite Group were ringing and wing tagging red kite chicks. This buzzard nest was close to a kite nest.