Rest of Europe - Birds of Prey

On this page you will find pictures of birds of prey photographed by me in Austria, Germany, Greece, Madeira, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

You can scroll down to see all photo's or you can click on the underlined English name in the list (link) to see the respective photo.

  1. Eurasian Griffon Vulture - Vale Gier
  2. Cinereous Vulture - Monniksgier
  3. European Honey BuzzardWespendief
  4. Red Kite - Rode Wouw
  5. Black Kite - Zwarte Wouw
  6. White-tailed Eagle - Zeearend
  7. Short-toed Eagle - Slangenarend
  8. Spanish Imperial Eagle - Spaanse Keizeraren
  9. Booted Eagle - Dwergarend
  10. Western Marsh Harrier - Bruine Kiekendief
  11. Montagu's Harrier - Grauwe Kiekendief
  1. Levant Sparrowhawk - Balkansperwer
  2. Long-legged Buzzard - Arendbuizerd
  3. Lesser Kestrel - Kleine Torenvalk
  4. Common Kestrel - Torenvalk
  5. Canarian Common Kestrel - Canarische Torenvalk
  6. Red-footed Falcon - Roodpootvalk
  7. Eurasian Hobby - Boomvalk
  8. Eurasian Scops Owl - Dwergooruil
  9. Eurasian Eagle-Owl - Oehoe
  10. Little Owl - Steenuil
Eurasian Griffon Vulture
Vale Gier
Monfragüe National Park, Spain
24 August 2011
Cinereous Vulture
Trujillo area, Extremadura, Spain
3 May 2012

European Honey Buzzard
Falsterbo, Sweden
20 September 2005

The male has a blue-grey head, while the female's head is brown. The European Honey Buzzard is a summer migrant to most of Europe and western Asia, wintering in tropical Africa.
It can be distinguished from the similar Eurasian Buzzard by its larger size, longer, broader and rounder tail, longer neck, rather small head, often 2 tail bands + 1 at the very end, no pale band along median coverts looking continuous with pale breast band and it soars on flat wings.

Red Kite
Rode Wouw
Falsterbo, Sweden
20 September 2005

Black Kite
Zwarte Wouw
Monfragüe National Park, Extremadura, Spain
4 May 2012

White-tailed Eagle
Karsiborska Kepa Nature Reserve, Poland
17 August 2012

The White-tailed Eagle is considered the fourth largest eagle in the world. They have a characteristic aerial courtship display which culminates in the pair locking claws mid-air and whirling earthwards in a series of spectacular cartwheels.
Some individuals have been found to live over 25 years.

Short-toed Eagle
Lesvos, Greece
24 April 2010

Spanish Imperial Eagle
Spaanse Keizerarend
Monfragüe National Park, Extremadura, Spain
4 May 2012

Restricted to the Iberian Peninsula.
Only the coloration of the marginal upperwing coverts of adult birds is a reliable difference with the similar Eastern Imperial Eagle (white tips (clearly shown of the photo) in the Spanish Imperial Eagle, dark in the Eastern Imperial Eagle).

Booted Eagle
Torrejon el Rubio area, Extremadura, Spain
4 May 2012
Western Marsh Harrier
Bruine Kiekendief
Isla Mayor area,
Coto Doñana, Spain
24 October 2015
Montagu's Harrier
Grauwe Kiekendief
Embalse del Guadiloba, Spain
23 August 2011

Levant Sparrowhawk
Gülhane Park, Istanbul, Turkey
21 September 2012

Levant Sparrowhawk is similar to the Eurasian Sparrowhawk, but usually shows 4 "fingers" which often produces an impression of pointed wings while Eurasian Sparrowhawk shows 5-6 "fingers" giving it a more falcon-like appearance. Furthermore, the Levant Sparrowhawk can be distinguished from the Eurasian Sparrowhawk by 6 to 8, not 4 or 5 bars in the spread tail and it migrates in small flocks (the Eurasian Sparrowhawk migrates singly).

Long-legged Buzzard
Aegean Sea between Pathmos and Mykonos, Greece
25 September 2012

This is one of the largest species of Buteo. There are many different colour forms, but usually Long-legged Buzzards have a clear orange tint to the plumage, red or orange tail, pale head and largely white underwings. It inhabits dry open plains of northern Africa, south-eastern Europe, west and central Asia east to China, and across central India.

Lesser Kestrel
Kleine Torenvalk
Monroy area, Extremadura, Spain
3 May 2012

Looks like Common Kestrel but is slightly smaller and Common Kestrel has black nails while Lesser Kestrel has pale nails (shown clearly on the photo).
The male Lesser Kestrel has a grey head and grey tail like the male Common Kestrel, but lacks the dark spotting on the back and the black malar stripe. Furthermore, the male Lesser Kestrel has grey ear coverts while those of the Common Kestrel are whitish.

Common Kestrel
Torenvalk (F.t. tinnunculus)
Pfänder Mountain, Bregenz, Austria
12 July 2013

This is a bird of farm land and open areas and mostly known for the way it hovers 10-20 meters above the ground facing into the wind in search of prey. The male Common Kestrel is distinguished from the female by the grey colouration of the head. I found this young female near the nest that she recently left.
There are 11 subspecies of the Common Kestrel. This is Falco tinnunculus tinnunculus which is found in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Canarian Common Kestrel
Canarische Torenvalk
1 November 2013

A number of subspecies of the Common Kestrel (see also previous photo) are known.
This subspecies Falco tinnunculus canariensis occurs on Madeira and the western Canary Islands.
Red-footed Falcon
Lesvos, Greece
29 April 2010

Eurasian Hobby
Falsterbo, Sweden
23 September 2005

Close views enable the red "trousers" and vent to be seen. Sexes are similar. In flight it appears sickle-like with its long pointed wings and square tail, often resembling a swift when gliding with folded wings. It will take large insects, such as dragonflies, which it transfers from talons to beak and eats while soaring slowly in circles. Its speed and aerobatic skills enable it to take swallows and even swifts on the wing.

Eurasian Scops Owl
Lesvos, Greece
27 April 2010

Eurasian Eagle-Owl
Überlingen, Bodensee, Germany
13 July 2013

Since 2011, a pair of Eurasian Eagle-Owls have been breading in Überlingen. The city is well aware of this rare occasion and has blocked the area for access by people so the owls can raise their chicks (this year 3 in total) quietly. Fences are placed around the cliff side where they usually sit in the day time. At one moment, one young owl came flying right at me, scaring me to deadth, chasing a black bird that was feeding in the grass behind me.

Little Owl
Lesvos, Greece
28 April 2010

Its white “eyebrows” give it a stern expression.
It is found in open country such as mixed farmland and parkland and has a bounding flight like a woodpecker. It is partly diurnal and often perches prominently during the day. It takes prey such as insects, earthworms, amphibians, but also small birds and mammals. Surprisingly, they occasionally eat plant material and berries. Often little owls return to the same nest location.

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