Though a couple of poor breeding seasons have checked their number, the recent success of the buzzard (Buteo buteo) is a true feather in the cap of tolerance and conservation. Now our most common raptor, the buzzard breeds in every British county, meaning any fishing trip (other than on the open sea) may be blessed with that familiar, soul-lifting mew and that distinctive v-shape on the thermals.
The success of the buzzard is down to a lack of persecution and its adaptability. They are lovers of carrion and earthworms, but also take small mammals and birds and will happily ‘nudge’ another raptor off its dinner. Though illegal poisoning still occurs, the majority of people understand the value of buzzards in our countryside and the precarious spot that is theirs at the top of the food chain.