Long-legged Buzzard

Buteo rufinus

(B. r. rufinus)

Armenian Name: Տափաստանային ճուռակ
Long-legged Buzzard

See Plate 6 for Long-legged Buzzard and other similar species See Plate 13 for Long-legged Buzzard and other similar species in flight

Flight Characteristics: Long wings. Tail light brown-orange and typically unbarred, although juveniles and dark adults can show distinct dark bars near tip. From below shows pale head, dark belly, reddish wing coverts, dark carpal patches, and whitish flight feathers with dark tips. Dark phase has basically black plumage with whitish base on tail and flight feathers. Hovers easily and often. Soars with wings held forward and slightly raised. Glides with relatively long innerwing raised and primaries held flat. Differs from Common Buzzard in longer wings, color pattern of body and tail, and unbarred underparts.
Resident Status: Year-round resident
Abundance: Uncommon
Length:50-65 cm, Wing Span:126-148 cm
Distribution Map: Map 45.
Adult: Variable; most birds have dark belly, unbarred tail, large dark carpal patch and large white patch at the base of the primaries. Light phase has pale head, reddish belly, thighs, and underwing coverts, and red-brown back; dark phase is blackish overall with an evenly-barred tail and whitish bases on flight feathers.
Juvenile: Similar to adult but with faintly barred tail, and lacks prominent terminal band on secondaries.
Similar Species: Differs from Common Buzzard by unbarred belly, longer wings and tail, and larger bill.
Behavior: Hovers easily and often when hunting.
Habitat: Mountain steppe, cliffs, farmland.
Food: Rodents, reptiles, other small animals.
Nest: Platform of branches on cliff ledge.
Eggs: 60 mm, 3-5, white, brown and reddish blotches.