My first Rough-legged buzzard I saw on a late winter evening in poor light in the polders of Strijen. Rough-legged buzzards are rare winter guests in the Netherlands and last years they seem even more rare.


All my pictures can be found here.

Biddend op een grijze winternamiddag
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: Buteo lagopus
Dutch name: Ruigpootbuizerd
Common name: Rough-legged buzzard
Location: Oudeland van Strijen, The Netherlands

Remarks: Hovering on a typical winter afternoon
Ruigpoot van bovenaf
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: Buteo lagopus
Dutch name: Ruigpootbuizerd
Common name: Rough-legged buzzard
Location: Oudeland van Strijen, The Netherlands

Remarks: Light head, light rump, dark terminal band!
Ruigpoot van onderaf
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: Buteo lagopus
Dutch name: Ruigpootbuizerd
Common name: Rough-legged buzzard
Location: Oudeland van Strijen, The Netherlands

Remarks: Dark chest
Lichte stuit
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: Buteo lagopus
Dutch name: Ruigpootbuizerd
Common name: Rough-legged buzzard
Location: Oudeland van Strijen, The Netherlands

Remarks: Light rump and dark terminal band
Biddend
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: Buteo lagopus
Dutch name: Ruigpootbuizerd
Common name: Rough-legged buzzard
Location: Oudeland van Strijen, The Netherlands

Remarks: Hovering
Rough-legged buzzard
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: Buteo lagopus
Dutch name: Ruigpootbuizerd
Common name: Rough-legged buzzard
Location: Bleiswijk, The Netherlands

Remarks: Hovering
Rough-legged buzzard
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: Buteo lagopus
Dutch name: Ruigpootbuizerd
Common name: Rough-legged buzzard
Location: Bleiswijk, The Netherlands

Remarks: Hovering
Sommige buizerds lijken erg op een rpb
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: Buteo buteo
Dutch name: Buizerd
Common name: Buzzard
Location: Maasvlakte, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Remarks: This is not a Rough-legged buzzard, but is oftend mistakenly identified as one. Look at the legs: bare!


Field characteristics

The Rough-legged buzzard is a separate specie which is often mistakenly identified by inexperienced birders because Common buzzards can sometimes have three or four characteristics of a rough-legged but aren't. Rough-legged are winterguests which can be recognized by their larger size (+17 cm wingspan), the light head, the dark brown chest band, and the light tailfeathers with a dark terminal band.

I once saw a Buzzard that looked very much like a Rough-legged, with a light head, dark chest, white upper tailfeathers and a dark terminal band on the tail. Only it had no feathered legs :-(

Sound:

A little lower pitch than a Common buzzard.

 

 

 

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