Buteo lagopus



Buteo (Etymology: Buteo is the Latin name of the Common Buzzard) is a genus of medium-sized wide-ranging raptors with a robust body and broad wings. In the Old World, members of this genus are called "buzzards", but "hawk" is used in North America. As both terms are ambiguous, buteo is sometimes used instead, e.g., by the Peregrine Fund.

Species in taxonomic order

Fossil record

A number of fossil species have been discovered, mainly in North America. Some are placed here primarily based on considerations of biogeography, Buteo being somewhat hard to distinguish from Geranoaetus based on osteology alone:

  • Buteo fluviaticus (Brule Middle Oligocene of Wealt County, USA) - possibly same as B. grangeri
  • Buteo grangeri (Brule Middle Oligocene of Washabaugh County, USA)
  • Buteo antecursor (Brule Late Oligocene)
  • ?Buteo sp. (Brule Late Oligocene of Washington County, USA)
  • Buteo ales (Agate Fossil Beds Early Miocene of Sioux County, USA) - formerly in Geranospiza or Geranoaetus
  • Buteo typhoius (Olcott Early ?- Snake Creek Late Miocene of Sioux County, USA)
  • Buteo pusillus (Middle Miocene of Grive-Saint-Alban, France)
  • Buteo sp. (Middle Miocene of Grive-Saint-Alban, France - Early Pleistocene of Bacton, England)
  • Buteo contortus (Snake Creek Late Miocene of Sioux County, USA) - formerly in Geranoaetus
  • Buteo spassovi (Late Miocene of Chadžidimovo, Bulgaria)
  • Buteo musculosus (Miocene of Argentina) - formerly in Thegornis
  • Buteo conterminus (Snake Creek Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Sioux County, USA) - formerly in Geranoaetus
  • Buteo sp. (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Lee Creek Mine, USA)
  • Buteo sanya (Late Pleistocene of Luobidang Cave, China)

An unidentifiable accipitrid that occurred on Ibiza in the Late Pliocene/Early Pleistocene may also have been a Buteo. If this is so, the bird can be expected to aid in untangling the complicated evolutionary history of the Common Buzzard group.

The prehistoric species "Aquila" danana, Buteogallus fragilis (Fragile Eagle), and Spizaetus grinnelli were at one time also placed in Buteo.



  • (1989): Les Aus fòssils de la Cova de Ca Na Reia. Endins 14-15: 95-100. [In Catalan with English abstract]
  • (1969): Les Oiseaux miocènes de la Grive-Saint-Alban (Isère) [The Miocene birds of Grive-Saint-Alban (Isère)]. Geobios 2: 157-204. [French with English abstract] (HTML abstract)
  • (1964): Catalogue of Fossil Birds: Part 2 (Anseriformes through Galliformes). Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 8(3): 195-335. PDF or JPEG fulltext
  • (1969): Notes on fossil hawks (Accipitridae). Auk 86(2): 353-354. PDF fulltext
  • (2002): Cenozoic Birds of the World, Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press, Prague. ISBN 80-901105-3-8 PDF fulltext
  • (1933): Status of the Genus Geranoaëtus. Auk 50(2): 212. DjVu fulltext PDF fulltext

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