• Madeira Buzzard 


Scientific name
Buteo buteo harterti (Swan, 1919)

Taxonomic Status
Endemic Subspecies of Archipelago of Madeira

Red Data Book Status
Least Concern


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  • Identification

The Buzzard is the bigger bird that occurs in Madeira archipelago. The plumage is mostly brown but the upperparts are darker than the underparts. The tail and flight feathers are barred, and breast may sometimes are streaked. They can be seen many times soaring and in circling flight. 

  • Voice

The call of is a mewing similar to “piiiee-yow”

  • Ecology

The nest is constructed in large trees or small platforms in cliffs. The female lays a clutch of between two to four eggs with an incubation period of around 33 to 38 days. Their diet is composed by mammals such as mice, rats, rabbits and also on birds and reptiles.

  • Distribution

In Madeira archipelago occurs the harterti subspecies which is endemic to this region being present in the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo. In Madeira island is a widely distributed on great variety of habitats and on all altitudes.


That this specie can reach a lifespan of 25 years. 


  • Buzzard Sightings


October 2013 - Madeira Island © Terry Hilsden


Madeira Island © Birds & Company


Madeira Island © Birds & Company

  • Literature

[1] Fagundes, A.I., Nunes, J. & Ferreira, J. (2007) Atlas das Aves Nidificantes do Parque Ecológico do Funchal. Município do Funchal. Funchal

[2] Freitas, S. (2003) Actividade Cinegética – Ferramenta de Gestão e Conservação das Espécies Cinegéticas in Comemorações dos 50 anos de Actividade Florestal. Governo Regional da Madeira. Funchal.   

[3] Hagemeijer, E. J. M. and Blair, M. J. (Editors). (1997) The EBCC Atlas of European Birds: Their Distribution and Abundance. T & A D Poyser, London.

[4] Mullarney, Killian; Svensson, Lars; Zetterstrom, Dan; Grant, Peter (1999). Collins Bird Guide. London: Collins. 

[5] Oliveira, P & Menezes, D. (2004) Aves do Arquipélago da Madeira. Serviço do Parque Natural da Madeira. Funchal.


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