Tarsi naked: tail barred transversely throughout its whole length.
Falco Buteo, Temm. Man. d'Qrn. torn. i. p. 63. Common Buzzard, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Must. vol. i. p. 55. pl. 6. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. i. p. 22.
Entire length twenty inches six lines: length of the hill (from the forehead) one inch four lines, (from the gape) one inch six lines; of the tarsus three inches one line; of the tail eight inches six lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing fifteen inches three lines: hreadth, wings extended, three feet eleven inches.
(Adult) All the upper parts, as well as the neck and breast, deep brown: throat whitish, with a few brown streaks on the shafts of the feathers; abdomen grayish white, with longitudinal spots of deep brown: tail with about twelve transverse dusky bars, the extremity slightly rounded: bill lead-colour: cere, irides, and feet, yellow. (Young). Upper plumage brown, much varied with yellowish white and brownish yellow: throat pure white, with longitudinal brown spots; breast and belly yellowish white, with large oval stains and blotches of deep brown, prevailing most upon the breast: irides pale brownish yellow. Obs. The plumage of this species varies considerably, even in individuals of the same age: the brown above is more or less uniform, and the markings beneath more or less regular: occasionally the brown extends nearly over the whole body, and the white appears only on the throat, and in transverse bars on the middle of the abdomen. (Egg). Dirty white, spotted with pale brown: long. diam. two inches three lines; trans, diam. one inch ten lines.
Of frequent occurrence throughout the country. Habits sluggish and inactive. Builds in old trees, and lays from two to four eggs. Feeds on rats, mice, moles, leverets, small birds, and occasionally on reptiles.