This is a dead buzzard I found in the Pheasant Woods today. Dad and I had been watching a family of roe deer from our favourite watching place, and we found the buzzard a bit further down the valley under some trees.
I don't know how many buzzards live in the Pheasant woods, but I think there must be lots. I always see buzzards when we are walking there, and the gamekeeper says he doesn't shoot them. They eat rabbits, pheasants, and any dead animals they find around. Buzzards like living in woods that are next to open fields or moors, and the Pheasant Woods are just like that.
This buzzard must have died in the last week, because it was lying on top of the heavy snow we had. It was lying on its tummy, with its wings a little bit spread out, and its neck was bent back. I couldn't see any marks or injuries on it, so I don't think it was shot or attacked by another animal. Maybe it froze to death in the cold, maybe it was old, or maybe it flew into a tree and maybe broke its neck.
I thought the buzzard was beautiful. It was bigger than I expected, and its beak and claws were awesome. They were sharp and strong, and any animal caught in the buzzard's claws would probably die very quickly.
I wanted to keep a claw, but it wouldn't come off.
When we turned it over, its body was twisted a bit to the side. Its wings were massive, and you could see the white colour underneath, and the feathers at the end of the wings that look like fingers sticking out. When I picked it up, it was so light it surprised me. I expected it to be heavier because its quite a big bird.
Here's a buzzard we saw on another walk about half a mile away from where we found this one. It might even be the same buzzard. It's difficult to tell. This one was perched in a tree overlooking a big field.
One of the woods I walk in I call Big Nest Wood because it's got a very big buzzard nest in it. Whenever I start walking in this woods, the two buzzards circle overhead and call out. I'm not sure if they're warning other birds, or just trying to scare people off.
I'm not sure what will happen to this buzzard's body now. A fox might eat it, but it might not be as tasty as a pheasant or a rabbit. It would be nice to come back and collect the bones, especially the claw. I've found three buzzard skulls in my collection already, but this could be a nice one. If it rots down where it is, I might find out if it broke its neck too.
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