Long-legged Buzzard - Buteo rufinus

On 5 September 2000 Hubert Tonino and Wies de Valk discovered in Flevoland a large buzzard, which could very well, according to the consulted literature, a Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus. They phoned the Dutch birdline, but the bird could not be relocated on subsequent days. It was rediscovered by Aart Vink and Wim Wiegant on 9 September and it stayed till 10 september 2000. It showed itself very well on a recently mowed grassy field and could be compared well with several Common Buzzards Buteo buteo, who were all hunting mice. Several hundred birders had the opportunity to twitch this very rare raptor and were extremely grateful to the two discoverers. It proved to be a light-phase juvenile Long-legged Buzzard and it showed all diagnostic features like dark belly, light head, dark carpal patches, pale tail and large size and wing posture and shape.

9 September 2000, Praamweg, Lelystad Fl; © Roef Mulder.

Left bird, 9 September 2000, Praamweg, Lelystad Fl; © Roef Mulder.

9 September 2000, Praamweg, Lelystad Fl; © Harm Niesen.

This record was accepted as the second record for the Netherlands (cf Dutch Birding 23 (5): 284-288, 2001). The first record was on 12 December 1905 at the Buiksloterham (which is a gas-station now), Amsterdam-Noord. This male bird was captured and stayed till its death 23 January 1909 in Artis, the Dutch Zoo in Amsterdam (Dutch Birding 18 (4):166 (picture of stuffed bird) and 173, 1996).

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