Birds of Iran

Mar 30th
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Home Observations Deserts and Dry Lands of Iran Steppe Buzzard, Buteo Rufinus Vulpinus - Iran

Steppe Buzzard, Buteo Rufinus Vulpinus - Iran

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Steppe Buzzards are hardly seen or reported from Iran. we are still investigating why would this buzzard chose North East Iran as a breeding site. The Steppe Buzzard, B. (b.) vulpinus breeds from eastern Europe eastward to the Far East, excluding Japan. It is a long-distance migrant, excepting some north Himalayan birds, and winters in Africa, India and south eastern Asia. In the open country favoured on the wintering grounds, Steppe Buzzards are often seen perched on roadside telephone poles.

Steppe Buzzard is some times split as a separate species, B. vulpinus. Compared to the nominate form, Steppe Buzzard is slightly smaller (45-50 cm long), longer winged and longer tailed. There are two colour morphs; the rufous form which gives this subspecies its scientific name (vulpes is Latin for "fox"), and a dark grey form.

The tail of vulpinus is paler than the nominate form, and often quite rufous, recalling North American Red-tailed Hawk. The upperwings have pale primary patches, and the primary flight feathers are also paler when viewed from below. Adults have a black trailing edge to the wings, and both morphs often have plain underparts, lacking the breast band frequently seen in B. b. buteo.

Steppe Buzzard, B. (b.) vulpinus

I’d like to discuss details about this specie for those of you who might take this steppe buzzard for a long legged buzzard.


In buzzards, any plumage pattern highlighted could be highly variable. In the field, in museums or in the hands while ringing (as in Kazakhstan for ex.) both Steppe Buzzards and Long Legged buzzards show all sorts of overlapping characters concerning dark morphs.


In addition, tail and chiefly remiges barring pattern is more reliable among juvenile than among adults. So, Juv. LLB in most cases show less well defined and demarked secondaries barring than SB, with those almost appearing uniformly dull grey with some sparse barring.


This Steppe buzzard is at its third year (as the number of molt waves and the new S4 should tell us) due to smaller bill, not very heavy, smaller head, not very huge and long necked, short legs, less thick, short looking wings, no pale upper part, though a bit too broad I think apparently, and a bit odd also amount of black on the outer primaries, and tail color. But as mentioned earlier buzzards are very variable, mostly in dark and Rufus morphs.

Comments (2)Add Comment
چگونه در سایت شما میشود عضو شد
written by داود, August 17, 2012
من از سایت شما خیلی خوشم آمد و میخاسم عضو شوم بسیار ممنونم
written by virusksp, October 18, 2012
سلام . من یه پرنده شکاری پیدا کردم که تیر خورده بود . بعد از مدتی نگهداری و درمان حالا میخوام اونو به طبیعت رها کنم . توی اینکه این چه پرنده ای هست شک دارم . اگه میشه ایمیلتون رو به من بدید تا عکساشو واستون بفرستم و شما به من بگید که این چیه . من فکر میکنم که طرلان باشه . من دانشجوی دامپزشکی هستم

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 December 2013 19:40 )  

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