But these you shall not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, (Deuteronomy 14:12 NKJV)
In Birds of the Bible – How Many Are There? II, the buzzard was mentioned. Also last week, Ian did an article on the Black-breasted Buzzard. Since realizing that this bird, the Buzzard, had not been added to the Birds of the Bible pages, I added a Buzzard and this is the first article about our forgotten avian bird.
Aren’t we glad that the Lord does not forget His Creation?
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)
Buzzards belong to the Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles Family and has 28 species in this family with “Buzzard” in their name. Members of this family are known as “Birds of Prey” or “raptors” by many.
From Britannica “True buzzards, or buteos, constitute the subfamily Buteoninae of the family Accipitridae. When in flight, they can usually be distinguished from other birds of prey by their broad wings and expansive rounded tails. They fly with slow heavy wing beats and soar gracefully. The plumage of most species is essentially dark brown above and white or mottled brown below, and the tail and underside of the wings usually are barred. There is much variability of pigmentation, however, even between individuals of a single species. Buzzards customarily prey on insects and small mammals and only occasionally attack birds. The nest, in a tree or on a cliff, is substantial, built of sticks and lined with softer materials. The two to five whitish eggs are blotched with brown.”
One of several medium-sized, wide-ranging raptors with a robust body and broad wings. In particular, those in the genus Buteo. In the Old World, members of this genus are named as “buzzards”, but “hawk” is more common in North America.
In Europe, the Common Buzzard, Buteo buteo, where Buzzard is often used as a synonym. The Common Buzzard is the most known buzzard in the Old World.
In the New World Buzzard can mean:
- A vulture, particularly the American Black Vulture and Turkey Vulture, or as a general term for vultures.
- In parts of the United States where they are considered pest, particularly in rural areas, a derogatory term for certain birds of prey, such as the Chickenhawk (a common colloquial name referring to either the Cooper’s Hawk, the Sharp-shinned Hawk or the Red-tailed Hawk), or the Duck hawk (known elsewhere as the Peregrine Falcon).
Quotes from Britannica and Wikipedia with editing.
Another Bible verse with “buzzard” is in Leviticus:
And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, (Leviticus 11:13 NKJV)
Both verses, Leviticus 11:13 and Deuteronomy 14:12 are listed in the birds not to be eaten by the Israelites. Considering what they eat, I am in no hurry to eat them either.
- Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles Family
- Buzzards – Wikipedia
- Buzzards – Britannica
- Buzzard Facts
- Birds of the Bible – Buzzard
- Birds of the Bible
- Birds of the Bible – How Many Are There? II
- Ian’s Bird of the Week – Black-breasted Buzzard
- Birds of the Bible – Clean vs. Unclean