A medium-sized raptor, the buzzard is about 50 centimetres long when perched, with a 125-centimetre wingspan. It has broad wings, a short neck and a medium-length tail in flight. The colouration varies vastly from dark brown through reddish-brown to white-spotted dark. There is often a pale patch on the breast.
The buzzard breeds in different types of forests or small woods with access to open lands, and nests in trees.
Often seen perched on fence posts or telegraph poles watching for prey, the buzzard is highly vocal (the call resembles mewing), especially in spring. It eats small vertebrates, mainly voles but also birds, susliks, reptiles, amphibians and sometimes invertebrates such as insects and earthworms.