Common buzzard

The buzzard is the most common bird of prey in UK. Its large size (wingspan of over a metre) distinguishes it from other hawks, however it is considerably smaller than an eagle, with which it is often confused. The buzzard is a slow flier and unlikely to catch prey on the wing, however it is a patient predator and its markings provide excellent camouflage which enable it to sit in trees for hours waiting for a small rodents to pass.

Buzzards have blunt wing tips, and brown plumage which is very variable in shade and pattern. Some birds can be mostly white with brown patches. The legs and talons are yellow.

All year round

Throughout Scotland, regularly seen on the wing or on fence posts next to roads

Golden eagle

Golden eagle

Aquila chrysaetos

A huge bird of prey, with only the white-tailed eagle larger in the UK. With its long broad wings and longish tail, it has a different outline to the smaller buzzard. It likes to soar and glide on air currents, holding its wings in a shallow 'V'. Eagle...

White tailed eagle (sea eagle)

White tailed eagle (sea eagle)

Haliaeetus albicilla

Also known as the sea-eagle, the white-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in the UK and the fourth largest eagle in the world. Its wingspan can be almost 2.5metres in length, standing at a height of almost a metre. Hunted to extinction in the 180...