Rough-legged Buzzard

Rough-legged Buzzard breeds on the tundra and boreal parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Central Europe is wintering area of this species. In Autumn some of individuals migrate through Poland, some staying to winter. In Warta River Mouth National Park you can observe this species from autumn to early spring.
Rough-legged buzzard can by always identyfied by typical tail-pattern – bicoloured with white base and broad dark tail-band. Moreover tarsus is feathered, wings are longer and flight is more elegant with slower wing-beats compared to Common Buzzard.
There are the differences between sexes in typical plumages. Males has mulitiple tail-bands and dark head compared to female’s single subterminal band to the tail and pale hood.

From below, juvenile has pale underwings with poorly marked underwing-coverts and diffuse subterminal tail-band.
From above juvenile are identified by pale basally on the primaries and a paler area in the median upperwing coverts. Uppertail-band is exstensive and brown compared to adults.
Interesting facts:
Juveniles have pale iris (see the photo below).
In Finland and Norwey hybrids with Common buzzard were observed. “Hybrid young recalled pale juvenile Common Buzzard, but legs were feathered to more than halfway down to tarsus…”(Forsman 2016).
Rough-legged Buzzard has reacher feathering than Common Buzzard. This species has also bigger eyes. It seems to be bigger than Common Buzzard but weight of this two species is similar. (Sokołowski 1953).