I’m not sure what to do

Hi, I have a buzzard sitting in the field next door to my house - it has been there at least half an hour, not sure when it first appeared. It’s standing normally and walking/running  around but doesn’t seem inclined to fly. Despite the appearance of 4 magpies which it keeps trying to get away from! Not sure if it’s damaged and not sure if I can fo anything to help…!?

  • Hi Lisalu, this is absolutely normal behaviour for buzzards who will spend time foraging for worms beneath the ground so nothing to worry about. It is also normal that birds like magpies, crows will constantly harass buzzards and other birds of prey as they try move them off their territorial patches. So just enjoy seeing close views of the buzzard as it searches for food; it will fly off when it is ready if, as you say, it doesn't appear injured. you will often see buzzards perched up on fence posts for long periods, once again, all normal behaviour.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • As Hazel says this sounds like normal behaviour Buzzards will spend quite a lot of time foraging on the ground for worms which maybe does not seem right when you think of how graceful a Buzzard looks when soaring over our heads. Also birds of prey will stand/perch still for long periods after feeding probably to let their meal settle a bit like us after Christmas lunch I suppose

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • I'll echo what Hazy & Seaman have said, many birds will do that to buzzards and other predatory birds, for fear of them being victim to the raptors lunch and during the breeding season, to protect their families from predation.

    Also if the buzzard was in a state of distress or poor health and weakening,  other birds would continually pick at it as a means of shortening the buzzards condition.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • That’s brilliant thanks everyone, I’ve definitely learned something new today! As you’ve all said, he was fine - did eventually fly off and left me very relieved….
  • Welcome to the forum, Lisalu. As you can see there are lots of friendly folks here happy to answer questions. Luckily for those of us still learning (and that is most of us!), that is just great. It is definitely strange watching a Buzzard standing, running or walking around on the ground the first time you see it. Fortunately, I had heard they do this before I saw it, or I would have been worried as well. Birds of prey seem to be much like cats in that they go hunting for food when they need to, but for most of the time they are just sitting around, relaxing, and doing a bit of preening now and then while also keeping a very close eye on what is going on around them.

    Kind regards, Ann