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Birding Málaga


Common name Long-legged buzzard
Scientific name Buteo rufinus
Type Forest birds
Status Dispersive

Medium-sized raptor (about 50 cm or 19.5 in) with an also medium wingspan (about 125 cm or 4 ft). North African species very similar to the Common Buzzard but with more sandy plumage tones, especially in the head; clear breast; belly of variable tones, normally dark, and presence of dark carpal spots (at the level of the carpal bone, at the end of the wing) in the lower part of the wings. The tail is smooth and reddish.


Woodland environments

Where it lives

Typical species of Mauritania and Egypt that occasionally disperses in the south of the peninsula. It prefers steppes and semi-deserts, but also uses cleared forests, border areas, pastures, farmlands and countryside.

How it lives

Vagrant or dispersive species in the province and occasional. This raptor nests preferably on rock fields, occasionally on trees. Laying of 2 to 4 eggs between March and May. It feeds on small mammals, especially rodents, but also on lizards, birds and large insects.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

The Long-Legged Buzzard has been detected in Malaga recently, coinciding with the permanent presence of some couples in the vicinity of the Strait of Gibraltar. It is more likely to be watched in the western part of the province. The latest observations have been made in Estepona, Coín, Cortes de la Frontera and Ronda (zone of Acinipo and Los Arenosos).

Curious facts

Buzzards are not predators that spend a lot of energy looking for prey. They are opportunistic and prefer to soar passively until they see one or wait for them from a perch, a behaviour that is very common in the species and that is usually precisely the object of easy observation. Other curious behaviours typical of buzzards are waiting near the burrows for their inhabitants to appear, looking for animals that flee in areas set afire or inspecting the roads in search of animals that have been run over.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration