What is attacking this eagle?

Something was very keen to chase off this White-tailed Eagle.  It looks to me like a Buzzard, but it seems quite small and there are also Hen Harriers in the area, so I'd appreciate a more expert opinion.  Sorry the photos are rather distant.

  • Certainly looks like a buzzard. Big size difference as you say. Maybe female eagle and male buzzard, so emphasising species size difference. That is a wild guess though.....
  • Thanks, Robbo.

    It looked very small when I saw it in "real life", not just the photos. Your suggestion would make sense.
  • I think you are right about size differences Robbo, the size difference is even more amazing in real life. A few years ago we were near the Shiant Isles looking at a new W T Eagle nest when the local Buzzard pair started bombing the Eagles,there were 8 of us in the rib and we were gobsmacked, highlight of that week I think

    Pete

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

  • I bow to Pete and Robbo's greater experience (even if it's a wild guess), and myself see nothing on the smaller bird that doesn't say buzzard.

    Re Pete's comment on "real life", last year we watched a Common Buzzard tangling with a Golden Eagle up in the Bernese Oberland. One has to look twice. And then look again. And then have another look just to be sure that buzzards can look so small.

    Dave 

  • Just adding some observation info re the amazing versatility,Common Buzzard,

    Here in Devon,we regularly have Buzzards being bombarded by the Corvid population,but yesterday and previous day,Buzzard chasing the Collared Dove and missed its hold as it shot past the window,with Dove losing many feathers,but escaped its grasp, and then,
    yesterday almost knocked itself out on the kitchen window chasing Blackbird,that craftily flew down and up into the bushes,but not giving up Buzzard tried to follow,but could not get up among the twisted branches, but sat,watching for several minutes ,with its tail beautifully fanned,

     

  • In reply to SunnyKate2:

    SunnyKate2 said:
    Here in Devon

    Your description thoroughly deserves that overused initialism "OMG", SunnyKate.

    And to think that for years I thought that they just sat around on fence posts on motorway verges...

    Have you ever seen that very low lozenge-shape fly-by they do occasionally?

    Dave 

  • Thanks again, all.

    When I saw the attack, I thought it must be Rooks, as I've seen them chase off Buzzards in the area on more than one occasion. I couldn't believe it when I looked at the photos and saw it was apparently a Buzzard! Unfortunately, the action was moving away from me, but I did see a second bird coming in to assist. I only have a very distant photo of that, but the shape is right for another Buzzard.

    I've never seen this behaviour from raptors before. There are quite a few in the area, but they mostly seem to ignore each other.
  • In reply to LesleyL:

    LesleyL said:
    I've never seen this behaviour from raptors before. There are quite a few in the area, but they mostly seem to ignore each other.

    Morning Lesley,

    Here, raptor rumbles seem to be species (and period) dependent.

    Buzzards get off lightly (although, of course, they have a hard time from crows and Ravens); Golden Eagles are often buzzed by smaller raptors (Sparrowhawks and Kestrels). Kestrels (depending on the date) will have a go at pretty much anything, including Black Kites and Red Kites.

    Generally, the local Peregrines keep themselves to themselves, although they'll tangle with one another over territory, if briefly.

    I've not seen anyone mess with a Goshawk, even a relative youngster.

    But I don't see everything of course; far from it.

    Best regards - 

    Dave 

  • Oh, and strangely enough, no-one seems to bother with Honey Buzzards.

    We don't see much of them, but when we do, they seem to have the run of their part of the sky.
  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    Dave I would have paid good money to have seen that and for a dyed in the wool Yorkshire man that is a big statement. I forgot to say Lesley never mind the quality those photos are brilliant to anyone who is interested in raptor behaviour thanks for posting them for us to enjoy.

    Pete

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