I was stalking a small flock of White Wagtails at Tempelhof, a virtually impossible task when you are in a flat, grassy lawn area. For some reason I paused and looked behind me and was surprised to see a Common Buzzard in the grass a couple dozen meters away from me. Unfortunately, the sun was behind the buzzard and I despaired of getting a decent shot with the bad backlighting. Instead of even trying to fight the sun I decided to do a loop around the bird, which looked to be feeding on something, with the hope that I could get the sun at my back and the buzzard in front of me.

Much to my amazement, my strategy worked. The buzzard paid me no mind and as I gradually closed on it I couldn’t believe my luck. Not only was a raptor cooperating for close, on-the-ground pictures but it was eating shish kebob! Who knew meat on a stick was in the diet of Buteo buteo?

I took over two hundred pictures of this most accommodating of Common Buzzards and the bird really never showed any nervousness at my presence. It was an awesome experience and one that I wish that everyone could have! Enjoy the shots and keep an eye out for buzzards eating barbecue leftovers…

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.