One of the UK’s most famous birds of prey, the buzzard, has made an incredible come back from endangered to a species that is thriving, especially in Nottinghamshire.
The buzzard has certainly found a home in Nottingham, with the area being recognised as one of the main breeding grounds which has seen the species continue to thrive.
In the early 1900s, there were believed to be as few as 1,000 breeding pairs in the UK, however, nowadays the bird is found in every single county in the country, which Erin McDaid, from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, believes is a testament to their adaptability.
“They’re very adaptable, so they hunt small mammals up to the size of rabbits, they also hunt other birds but they’ll also happily peck out and feed on worms so they’re very, very adaptable.
“When you read the sort of old descriptions of their habitat they’ll say ‘often found in rocky areas and nest on cliffs’ but they’ve also nested in trees.
“As they’ve spread out of their range they’ve taken over lowland and agricultural areas,” Mr McDaid added.
“just sat on the posts, telegraph poles or fence posts”
– Erin mcdaid, nottinghamshire wildlife trust
The increased range of the bird has seen the species become more and more popular in both the countryside but also on the busy streets of Nottingham.
“Last year I saw one at our Moorbridge nature reserve which is near Bullwell, which is just near a busy road junction between two main roads, a railway line and the tram stop!
“I regularly see them as you go up the A614 heading to the north of the county. You’ll often see them just sat on the posts, telegraph poles or fence posts even at the side of the road,” Mr McDaid said.
Erin McDaid, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
In the early 1900s, the buzzards were targeted as they were seen as a threat to the gamekeepers who looked after grouse and pheasants. The myxomatosis disease in the rabbit population was also a key reason in the bird of prey’s decline.
Whilst there are many reasons to explain why the buzzard is stronger than ever, Mr McDaid is convinced that the lack of human interference is the main reason for the bird’s comeback.
“The real key factors are the lack of persecution (from gamekeepers).
“The loss in the use of damaging and dangerous pesticides means that they’re actually now able to move in to any territory and any habitat that is suitable for them to breed in,” Mr McDaid explained.