Wildlife to Visit of the Family Accipitridae

Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta )
Bluebell woods.
Carpet of Bluebells. © Angie Muldowney cc
Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta )
Bluebell woods.
Carpet of Bluebells. © Angie Muldowney cc

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There are 9 wildlife species pictured below. Some species can only be seen during certain months. Wildlife that has been observed at this time of year are shown first preceeded by a green bar. Wildlife that can be seen at a different time of year is show last preceeded by a blue bar.

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Buzzard (Buteo buteo) All year round.
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Family: Accipitridae (Hawks and eagles)

Habitat: Coastal, farmland, grassland, heathland and woodland.

Size: Length 40-58 cm (16-23 in). Wingspan 109-136 cm (43-54 in).

Food: Small mammals, birds, carrion, earthworms and large insects.

Voice: Cat like mewing.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Takes off with distinctive slow wing beats, often circling or hovering. Frequently uses fence posts or similar as look-outs.

Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) © Aviceda cc
Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) All year round.
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Family: Accipitridae (Hawks and eagles)

Habitat: Gardens and parks, grasslands and woodland.

Food: Mainly small birds. Sometimes bats.

Voice: Sharp keck-keck-keck.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Males fly up and dive down again to impress females. The female is notably bigger than the male and so can catch larger prey.

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) ♂ © Ron Knight cc
Red Kite (Milvus milvus) All year round.
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Family: Accipitridae (Hawks and eagles)

Habitat: Farmland, woodland, grassland and gardens and parks.

Size: Length 60-70 cm (24-28 in). Wingspan 175-179 cm (69-70 in).

Food: Small mammals such as mice, voles, shrews, young hares, rabbits, carrion, reptiles, amphibians and earthworms.

Voice: A very distinctive and memorable pipe whistle rising and falling in pitch: peee-ooo, pee-oo-ee-oo-ee-oo.

Season: All year round. All year round.

Soaring and gliding flight, continually turning its long-forked tail.

Red Kite (Milvus milvus) ©
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) All year round.
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Family: Accipitridae (Hawks and eagles)

Habitat: Coastal, farmland, heathland and marsh.

Size: Length 41-52 cm (16-20 in) long. Wingspan 97-122 cm (38-48 in).

Food: Small mammals (95 percent), birds (5 percent.

Voice: ♀ whistled piih-eh when receiving food from ♂, alarm call chit-it-it-it-it-et-it. ♂ chek-chek-chek, with bouncing chuk-uk-uk-uk in display.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

In the United Kingdom populations are in a critical condition.

Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) © Rob Zweers cc
Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) All year round.
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Family: Accipitridae (Hawks and eagles)

Habitat: Grasslands and woodland.

Size: ♂ L 46-57 cm (18-22 in) Ws 89-105 cm (35-41 in). ♀L 58-69 cm (23-27 in) Ws 108-127 cm (43-50 in).

Food: Birds and mammals.

Season: All year round. All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Performs a spectacular undulating flight display during the spring breeding season.

Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) © Ferran Pestaña cc
Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus) Early October to late March.
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Family: Accipitridae (Hawks and eagles)

Habitat: Tundra, farmland, taiga or boreal forest and coastal grazing marsh.

Size: Length 46-60 cm (18-24 in). Wingspan 120-153 cm (47-60 in).

Food: Mammals such as rabbits, voles and lemmings. Birds.

Voice: Alarm: kiu wiyuk. Call: kee-eer.

Season: Early October to late March.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern


Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus) © Ron Knight cc
Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) All year round.
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Family: Accipitridae (Hawks and eagles)

Habitat: Desert and savanna.

Size: L 60-75 cm (24-30 in). WS 159-190 cm (63-75 in).

Food: Carrion, small mammals, reptiles and birds.

Voice: Crow-like bark.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern


Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) © MTM arr
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) Early April to late October.
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Family: Accipitridae (Hawks and eagles)

Habitat: Marsh, wetlands and freshwaters and reedbeds.

Size: Length 43-54 cm (17-21 in). Wingspan 115-130 cm (45-51 in).

Food: Small mammals, small birds, insects, reptiles, and frogs.

Season: Early April to late October. April to October.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

It searches for prey by gliding low over flat open ground with its wings in a shallow V-shape and dangling legs.

Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) © Nick Goodrum cc
Honey-buzzard (Pernis apivorus) Mid May to mid August.
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Family: Accipitridae (Hawks and eagles)

Habitat: Woodland, sea cliffs and valley mire.

Size: Length 52-60 cm (20-24 in). Wingspan 135-150-cm (53-59 in).

Food: Mainly insect larvae of wasps and bees.

Season: Mid May to mid August.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern


Honey-buzzard (Pernis apivorus) © Ferran Pestaña cc
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