Rough-legged Buzzard

Pic FLPA / Alamy

Pic FLPA / Alamy

The Rough-legged Buzzard is a very widespread breeding bird, covering the arctic and subarctic of Eurasia as well as North America. It is a scarce winter visitor to the UK, occurring in variable numbers, with between 10 and 150 birds in most winters. The bird gets its ‘rough-legged’ name from the fact its lower leg is feathered. Its scientific name, Buteo lagopus, also derives from this feature, with the legs reminiscent of those of grouse (genus Lagopus), which in turn get their name from the resemblance of their legs and feet to the feet of hares.