buzzard


buzzard
buzzard1
buzzardlike, adj.buzzardly, adj., adv.
/buz"euhrd/, n.
1. any of several broad-winged, soaring hawks of the genus Buteo and allied genera, esp. B. buteo, of Europe.
2. any of several New World vultures of the family Cathartidae, esp. the turkey vulture.
3. Slang. a contemptible or cantankerous person (often prec. by old): That old buzzard has lived in the same shack for twenty years.
adj.
4. Obs. senseless; stupid.
[1250-1300; ME busard < OF, var. of buisard, equiv. to buis(on) buzzard ( < L buteon-, s. of buteo kind of hawk) + -ard -ARD]
buzzard2
/buz"euhrd/, n. Brit. Dial.
any of various nocturnal buzzing insects, as cockchafers.
[1645-55; BUZZ1 + -ARD]

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Chiefly British term for any of several birds of prey of the hawk genus Buteo (family Accipitridae) and, in North America, various New World vultures, especially the turkey vulture.

In Australia, a large hawk of the genus Hamirostra is called a black-breasted buzzard. The buteos, also called buzzard hawks, can usually be distinguished when soaring by their broad wings and expansive rounded tail. The plumage of most species is dark brown above and white or mottled brown below; the tail and underside of the wings are usually barred. Buteos customarily prey on insects, small mammals, and occasionally birds. They nest in trees or on cliffs. Species range over much of the New World, Eurasia, and Africa. The red-tailed hawk, the most common North American buteo, is about 2 ft (60 cm) long.

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bird
 any of several birds of prey of the genus buteo and, in North America, various New World vultures (family Cathartidae), especially the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura; see photograph—>). Similarly, in Australia a large hawk of the genus Hamirostra is called a black-breasted buzzard. In North America, Buteo species are called buteos, buzzard hawks, or simply hawks.

      True buzzards, or buteos, constitute the subfamily Buteoninae of the family Accipitridae. When in flight, they can usually be distinguished from other birds of prey by their broad wings and expansive rounded tails. They fly with slow heavy wing beats and soar gracefully. The plumage of most species is essentially dark brown above and white or mottled brown below, and the tail and underside of the wings usually are barred. There is much variability of pigmentation, however, even between individuals of a single species. Buzzards customarily prey on insects and small mammals and only occasionally attack birds. The nest, in a tree or on a cliff, is substantial, built of sticks and lined with softer materials. The two to five whitish eggs are blotched with brown.

      The best known species, the common buzzard (Buteo buteo), is found from Scandinavia south to the Mediterranean. Other species range over much of North America, Eurasia, and northern Africa. See also hawk.

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