Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Rough-legged Buzzard in the snow

the Ferriby bird is surviving but with such depths of snow how is it feeding? BWPii notes Daily food requirements c. 10% of body weight (Craighead and Craighead 1956), equivalent to 80–120 g per day or 4–6 small mammals


















Today I had the opportunity to see at least one food item albeit a somewhat odd one; after sitting in a snow covered field looking intently at a lone Brown Hare, presumably sizing up whether it was weak enough or not, the Rough-leg flew up and hovered over the middle of the field -- it then set off in a determined level flight towards the main A1077 road -- I measured this afterwards as a distance of 397m -- as it approached the road I was concerned that it was going to get hit by a vehicle but it crashed into the reed fringed ditch on the road side and emerged with a bird in its talons; I just stuck with the camera trying to get a few images although it was a good distance off being chased by two Carrion Crows; it flew back into the snow covered field and proceeded to pluck and eat the bird that at first I thought was a Woodcock but looking at the images it was obviously a Water Rail; that the Rough-leg saw it in the reeds from 400m away is amazing; it continued to feed throughout a snow storm with feathers blowing across the open snow before returning to its favoured fence posts

2 comments:

Mike Watson said...

Great stuff Graham, you must be on first name terms with this bird by now?

Craig said...

Amazing series of photos Graham. I Guess many a Water Rail is already turning carnivorous as well in the big freeze!