Birds of Prey

Discover the range of birds of prey you may spot across Scotland.

Common Buzzard

Buteo buteo
The buzzard is the most common bird of prey in UK.
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Golden Eagle

Aquila chrysaetos
A huge bird of prey, with only the white-tailed eagle larger in the UK.
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Hen Harrier

Circus cyaneus
Of the UK’s birds of prey, this is the most intensively persecuted.
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Falco tinnunculus
A familiar sight with its pointed wings and long tail, hovering beside a roadside verge.
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A long winged fishing bird of prey with a distinctive reverse W-shaped outline.
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Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus
The peregrine falcon is known for its hunting speed, which after gaining height can reach up to 200 mph.
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Red Kite

Milvus Milvus
Red kites are easily identified by their large size (wingspan of almost 2m), reddish-brown colourings and deeply forked tail.
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Short-Eared Owl

Asio flammeus
These medium-sized owls can be found in most parts of Scotland, except Shetland.
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White tailed eagle (sea eagle)

Haliaeetus albicilla
Also known as the sea-eagle, the white-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in the UK and the fourth largest eagle in the world.
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Long Eared Owl

Asio otus
The long-eared owl is medium-sized owl, smaller in size than a woodpigeon.
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Barn Owl

Tyto alba
With heart shaped face, buff back and wings and pure white under parts the barn owl is a distinctive and much loved countryside bird.
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Accipiter gentilis
A large hawk, almost reaching buzzard size.
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Tawny Owl

Strix aluco
The tawny owl is an owl the size of a pigeon.
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Falco columbarius
The merlin is Scotland’s smallest breeding falcon. It has broad and short pointed wings and is extremely agile.
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