Monday, 13 July 2015

B is for Buzzard, from fluffball to full feathers

Monitoring buzzard nests is the hot topic for the next few blog posts. Buzzards now nest across such a wide range of habitats so it's quite likely you can see one of out of the window at this minute! They are not choosy what they eat helps them adapt to a wide variety of localised conditions. They generally build big nests and you can tell an 'active' nest from the fresh greenery which the adults bring in and add to the nest during courtship. Often the nests are very high up and you can't see anything. Sometime, you can see the top of a white fluffy head....


A few spatterings of white under the nest will show there are small chicks present. The adults will keep bringing in fresh greenery to keep the nest clean.

By the time the chicks have grown in a lot of adult body and wing feathers, the forest floor underneath the nest will be spattered with white for many metres.

As they get near to fledging they spend a lot of time flapping their wings and generally peering around at the world outside the nest. I climbed a rather exciting Scot's pine to find these big chicks and after a very quick record shot I quickly descended to leave them to it! We cannot ring the chicks when they are this big as they will 'jump' the nest, a survival strategy in case a predator comes knocking. Buzzards stay in the nest untill fledging at around 55 days old.