Rough-legged buzzard


The northern counterpart for the common buzzard, the rough-legged buzzard lives on mountain tops and sparsely stocked forests. In Finland it breeds all over Lapland and in some parts of the regions of Oulu. It builds its twig nest on a ledge or a rock, in wooded areas usually preferring to nest on a pine tree or on a spruce tree. The rough-legged buzzard easily detects any threats to its nest in open terrain, making false attacks to distract the attention of the intruder.


The rough-legged buzzard is a protected species.


The rough-legged buzzards use their excellent eye sight to prey on animals. In the winter they mainly feed on voles and lemmings, which are hiding well under the snow. From Finland the rough-legged buzzard migrates to Central and Eastern Europe for winter grounds.

Rough-legged buzzard

Buteo lagopus




SIZE: Weight: 600-1300g, wingspan: 125-150cm, females larger than males.

BREEDING: The female lays 3-5- eggs in May-June, incubation period: 28-31 days and nights; also the male hatches the eggs.

LIFESPAN: According to ringing data, the oldest rough-legged buzzard has lived to 18 years of age.

Did you know that the rough-legged buzzard, specialized in eating voles and lemmings, likes to nest where its food is most abundant? The egg ratio correlates with the prey, and during bad food season (lack of voles and lemmings) it may not nest at all.