The Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) is a bird of prey. It feeds mostly on small rodents, although it will also take lizards, snakes, small birds and large insects. The long feed gives log-legged buzzard the ability of agile hunting of small rodents off their ground holes.
It inhabits dry open plains of Iran, northern Africa, southeastern Europe, west and central Asia east to China, and across central India. South east corner of Iran’s central plateau is one of the fine and prey-rich grounds for this specie to spent winter in Iran.
It is similar in appearance to the Rough-legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus), but larger (approximate length 60–65cm / 24″) and more robust. There are many different colour forms, but usually Long-leggeds have a clear orange tint to the plumage, red or orange tail, pale head and largely white underwings. There is usually a distinctive black carpal patch and dark trailing edge to the wing. The rump and “trousers” are often dark or deep rufous. Plumage varies from ghostly pale individuals to very dark ones. Some plumages are almost similar to those of the Steppe Buzzard, the eastern subspecies of the Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus), but Long-legged Buzzards have longer wings and are more like Rough-Legged buzzards or even a small Aquila eagle.
Open, uncultivated areas, with high bushes, trees, cliffs or hillocks are favored as nesting areas. We have no record of them breeding in Iran so far. We will update as soon as observations come in.
Hunts from bush tops around rodent rich desert lands.
Guidelines for references:
1. R.F Porter Birds of Middle East
2. S Firouz Birds of Iran
3. K Kazmierczak A field guide to the Birds of India
4. J. Gooders Birds of Britain and Europe