This palearctic, summer migrant is a common sighting throughout southern Africa. It leaves its breeding grounds, which extend from eastern Europe to Siberia, in September and early October, and heads to southern Africa, arriving in late October/November, and departing the region in late February and March.
One thing is for sure, this bird of prey comes in a variety of plumages, and is often the centre point of many identification debates. Looking out for its barred flanks, barred, buzzard-like tail and head shape (with brown eyes and yellow cere) is helpful, but be cautious, as you may well still be fooled into thinking it could be a honey buzzard or even a long-legged one. I know I have…
We first recorded this common buzzard in January 2010 while staying in the Drakensberg and have seen it regularly every summer since.