Just after the cold spell recently we found a Buzzard hopping around the garden, it did not seem distressed, but allowed us to pick it up and place it in a safe area with food. Sadly a few hours later it had died. We had heard reports that there had been a buzzard in Radford Park and a few days earlier we also had unusually seen one on the mud flats when the tide was out. It was a magnificent bird and did not appear to have a mark on it. Whether it had starved unable to find food in the cold snap, or was injured in someway is not clear. It was very light in weight, but I have nothing to gauge whether this was normal or not.
There is also the possibility that it may have been poisoned? Not deliberately one would hope but maybe via eating a poisoned rat or other rodent.
For some reason I was reticent to bury such a magnificent creature and so I placed it in a bag and hung it on the shed whilst I contemplated what to do with it. A few days later it just so happened that we were going to a private view at the Plymouth Museum when we got chatting to the Collections Manager Helen Fothergill, she said that they would be delighted to have a Buzzard for their collection! It would be sent away to North Devon to be stuffed at a cost of around £200. We would also have to provide provenance for it and sign the bird over saying that no foul means were used in obtaining such a creature.
The bird of prey was discretely placed in our freezer until it could be delivered to the Museum. In many respects it’s very sad that such a beautiful Buzzard did not survive the winter (for what ever reasons), but reassuring to know that it did not die in vain, that its image will live on and it once again will be able display its beauty to those visiting the Museum. I’m not sure exactly when the little chap will be sent off for taxidermy, but we will keep the website updated with the details.
I have included the pictures of the Buzzard before and after its demise in the hope that maybe someone in the know can shed light on how it may have died.
On a more uplifting note a few days later after this incident with the sick buzzard we spotted another Buzzard in the Garden, it swooped across the garden, between us, and from tree to tree. For the Buzzard pictures and more details see the post Do Buzzards Eat Chickens!
Category: Nature & Wildlife