723. Buteo desertorum

Buteo desertorum (Daud.), Traite d’ Orn. ii. p. 162, (1800) ; Layard, B. of S. Afr. p. 9 ; Shelley, B. of Egypt, p. 201 ; Dresser, v. p. 457, pl. 332 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 179 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds. iii. p. 393 (partim) ; 11. cirtensis, Levaill jr. Expl. Sc. de l'Alg. pl. 3. (1850) ; B. menetriesi, Bogd. Ptitsui. Kavkaza, p. 45 (1879).
Baffa, Arab.
Male ad. (N. Africa). Differs from B. vulgaris in being as a rule smaller, in having the feathers on the upper parts margined with rusty red, the tail with a blackish brown subterminal band, the middle feathers rusty red with obsolete bars, and the under parts pale rufous, most of the feathers with dark centres. Culmen 1.4, wing 14.5, tail 8.2, tarsus 2.7 inch. The female is similar but rather larger. The young bird resembles B. vulgaris but is smaller, has the upper parts marked with rufous and the thigh- feathers slightly marked with rufous.
Hab. South-eastern Europe ; of accidental occurrence in south-western Europe, but in eastern Europe as far north as Archangel ; Africa south to the Cape Colony ; Asia as far east as India where it is a winter visitant.
In habits it resembles Buteo vulgaris, of which species it is a rufous, desert form, and in fact Mr. Blanford (l.c.) unites the two specifically, a course which I do not feel justified in following. The African Buzzard is said to be a more graceful and active bird than B. vulgaris and more of an insect feeder, on the shores of the Bosphorus feeding chiefly on grasshoppers, when in the autumn these latter abound.
Its nest is placed in a tree at no great altitude, or else in a convenient cleft in a rock and is constructed of sticks and twigs, lined with grass and wool. The eggs, 2 to 3 in number, are usually deposited in April, and resemble those of B. vulgaris, but are, as a rule, less marked with reddish-brown than those, and measure about 2.08 by 1.65.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
723. Buteo desertorum
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common Buzzard
Buteo buteo
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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