Discover the Dales

Bird Watching


The buzzard is one of the most common birds of prey that you will find in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and if you keep your eyes open, they can be seen pretty much everywhere throughout the year.

The buzzards hunt over the open land of the Dales. You shall recognise them souring through the sky by their short neck, fanned tails and broad, rounded wings, which, when in flight forms a ‘V’ shape. On occasions when the wind is suitable they adopt similar mannerisms to the kestrel – hovering beside hillsides and ridges waiting for their prey.

The appearance of a buzzard can differ quite dramatically. The feathers can range from very dark brown to very light brown or nearly pure white. However, you will notice that all buzzards have very dark wingtips and delicately striped tails which are very distinctive.

The buzzards are incredibly strong and normally prey on small to medium sized mammals such as pheasants and rabbits. They will also eat worms and insects when the opportunity arises such as after a field has been ploughed.

Buzzard Facts
•    Pairs mate for life.
•    They are fiercely territorial.
•    Their call is very similar to a cat’s meow.

Buzzards in the Yorkshire Dales