Book review: The Life of Buzzards by Peter Dare

20. September 2015

A well written book on the ecology and behaviour of the Common Buzzard has long been missing. But not anymore.

With “The Life of Buzzards” Peter Dare has written a wonderful book on that fascinating species.
Although often ignored by bird watchers because the species is now common in many places, the Common Buzzard is a fascinating bird and shows a lot of interesting behaviour (just image the wonderful courtship displays with undulating flights similar to a Golden Eagle).

A lot of research has been done in recent decades on the ecology and behaviour of the Common Buzzard. The author of this new book has been studying Common Buzzards himself for many decades.

The book has about 300 pages and describes in detail the author’s studies and how the Buzzard’s life changes during the different seasons from winter to autumn.

In 15 chapters the book covers breeding biology, territory, dispersal, population dynamics and much more. A huge portion of the book is devoted to the diet and feeding ecology of the Common Buzzard – which, unlike many people believe, eats more than just voles.

The last chapter covers the decline and subsequent recovery of the Common Buzzard in the UK. The species is now much more common in the UK that it used to be and it has recovered many areas where it was absent for decades.

Although the main focus of the author’s studies have been Buzzards in the UK, the book also covers buzzard studies in other countries like Germany and Poland. This is a great bonus to the book as there are of course differences in climate, landscape or prey species across Europe and by including research from other countries the author manages to paint a much broader of ecology of Common Buzzards.

The book is very well written in an English that easy to understand. It is not a dry scientific book, but still scientifically accurate, and the text clearly shows the admiration Peter Dare has for his study subject.

Whittles Published has published several great raptor books over the last years. This is my favorite so far and I highly recommend it to everyone interested in Common Buzzards in particular but also in raptors or birds in general.

More information about the book can be found on the Publishers Website:
The Life of Buzzards