'Based on many years of personal research, and a thorough knowledge of the European literature, the authors provide an eminently readable account of the biology of the Common Buzzard. Whatever your interests in birds, I can recommend this book for its content of information and insight.' – Professor Ian Newton OBE, FRS, FRSE
Soaring majestically on thermals with broad wings raised, the Common Buzzard is a familiar sight for many people across Eurasia. In fact, thanks to a remarkable ability to adapt to local conditions, it is now one of the most abundant hawks in the world. The Common Buzzard can exploit a variety of nest sites, and has an eclectic diet that ranges from earthworms and voles to Woodpigeons and even deer carcasses.
This is a species rich in paradoxes. Why does a hawk evolved for hunting small mammals thrive on invertebrates and carrion? How can a raptor renowned for dramatic territorial displays occur at such high densities? And why does such a large bird that can travel long distances spend so much time in small areas? Sean Walls and Robert Kenward delve deep into the ecology of the Common Buzzard to provide answers to these questions and many more, as well as examining the conservation conundrums raised by this bird.
Bringing together a wealth of research on the species' origins, feeding behaviour and breeding, along with information on movement and survival from the authors' own studies, The Common Buzzard provides an invaluable insight into exactly what has enabled this marvellous raptor to return to old haunts to impress, inspire and connect people with nature.
Table of contents
1 A Common Buzzard
4 Habitat use
5 Territoriality and nest defence
6 Courtship and nesting
7 Incubating and chick-rearing
8 Dispersal and migration
9 Longevity and survival
10 Common Buzzard populations
11 Our relationship with the Common Buzzard
Appendix 1 Scientific names of species mentioned in the text
Appendix 2 References for figures with many sources
Appendix 3 Map of UK study sites and flightpaths
Appendix 4 Abbreviations
Illustrations: 8pp colour photo section, 10 black and white line artworks
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm