KEY SPECIES

Bird Watching (UK) - - Bird The World -

STEPPE BUZ­ZARD The beau­ti­ful Steppe Buz­zard is per­haps the de­fault mi­grant rap­tor in Is­rael, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing early spring. Win­ter­ing in sub-sa­ha­ran Africa, In­dia and also in south­east­ern Asia, it spends its sum­mers in the conif­er­ous or mixed forests of eastern and northeastern Europe east­ward to the Far East. Seen by most au­thor­i­ties as a sub­species of our fa­mil­iar Buz­zard it is quite a dis­tinc­tive bird. Smaller, with a longer tail and nar­rower more pointed wings, it tends to be a rustier look­ing bird. Once you get used to them you will no­tice that their wing beats are quicker paced than that of the more pon­der­ous Buz­zard. There have been a few re­ported from our shores over the years but they re­main an ex­treme rar­ity and are a mine­field for the un­wary as care must be taken when try­ing to sep­a­rate them from the var­ied plumages of the nom­i­nate race. The sheer num­ber of birds that pass through Ei­lat ev­ery year is a sight to be seen.

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