Buzzard and heron......

We have a resident buzzard who has decided our garden is the equivalent of a well stocked convenience store!! He divides his time between our garden and the local park.

He/she sits in one of the large oaks overlooking the pond.....he swoops down to the lawn and eats copious amounts of brown bread and the thrushes, blackbirds and smaller birds feed alongside him which made me wonder if he was the first vegetarian buzzard.  I changed my mind when he espied a squirrel drinking from the pond and made straight for him but missed by a maybe he is somewhat shortsighted!!!

Last week I went out of the door and the heron was standing in the pond with one of our larger red goldfish in its beak. He flew upwards when he saw me and the buzzard flew down to attack him...there was an almighty screech as the heron flew away through the trees. I wasn't sure if the buzzard was after the heron or the fish in his beak.......we have seen this replayed almost daily which beggars  the question as to why the heron returns knowing he is likely to be attacked!!! It is quite a scene to behold with the buzzard chasing the heron, our dog barking at the heron who is forced to fly low due to the aerial attack and the buzzards two "wing men", two crows who always seem to fly alongside him.

Is it common for buzzards to eat stuff other than carrion and would they attack a bird as large as a heron would anyone know??

  • In reply to doggie:

    That's a new one on me , apart from the Buzzard being followed around by crows. I too would love to see photos if you can get them.

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  • In reply to Galatas:

    Hi Kate - I've tried to picture what you've described and am killing myself laughing as a result!  I've never heard anything like it - my sincere thanks for sharing this wonderfully mad series of events with us.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • In reply to Clare:

    Hi Kate, there's a lot of talk on here about sparrowhawks and buzzards! I've never seen one in my garden but I bet they're fascinating to see. Not that I want any of my garden birds to be dinner! How did you feel when the hero ate your fish? I can imagine its pretty upsetting if you have to keep replacing them with the threat of the heron coming back for seconds!

    Cheers, Jason

  • In reply to Jason:

    Sounds an amazing thing to witness. I'd be almost certain the Buzzard is after the fish, they will steal prey from other predatory birds if they can.

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  • In reply to aiki:

    Pity you cannot get it on video,it would be great to see,is it a veggie Buzzard ?


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  • In reply to Jason:

    Hello Jason.....we have a very large pond and the fish breed very fast and in large amounts!  I never thought it would be possible to get fond of pond fish (had one in a tank when I was young and loved him!!) I watch the little fry grow and get to recognise certain fish particularly the white and patterned ones, so it  is then horrible when either the heron or kingfisher takes them (as they are so easy to spot I imagine) Each winter I think the pond has been emptied but as soon as the water warms the fish emerge from the depths.. we bought some ghost koi when they were a couple of inches long (would not pay the huge prices for the big fish!!) and they have survived and we now have five very large fish that would make a good meak for two!!! The largest one has a tear shaped scar along the middle of her back where she survived a heron attack (think she was too big to be lifted so he speared her then dropped her but she recovered and that was four years ago)

  • In reply to Kate Bonczoszek:

    Hi Kate, the large fish certainly had a close escape! Scarred for life too being attacked by a heron! I do like herons and never seen a Kingfisher, but I suppose they just feeding. Amazing birds though. Good job the fish breed pretty fast!

    Cheers, Jason

  • I have just witnessed a heron chasing a buzzard over our garden why would the heron try to attack a buzzard? Seen the crows chasing the buzzard but first time for me seeing the herron.
  • In reply to Shazha71:

    Same food Shazha. I would think.

    One less Common Buzzard means more grub for herons.

  • It's was just strange to see where I live we do have a heron what comes over occasionally and the buzzard is a regular visitor over our gardens and fields but not seen them together b4 was cool to see the buzzard didn't seem bothered lol