Territorial Agression towards common buzzards (and red kites)

Our resident peregrines are showing extreme territorial aggression towards any common buzzard within sight of the peregrines’ nest or the juveniles. Before 2020, we had no records of this behaviour, although we knew the peregrines in Exeter had brought down 21 buzzards in 190 attacks over a 6-month period. We are now logging attacks seen in the Louth area and would appreciate any information you may have.

Attacks witnessed to date:

2020

13-6-20

16.15 Buzzard flying east-west south of the church attacked and killed by the pair working together. (GM)

15-6-20

AM Buzzard chased off by the tiercel (PE)

13.15 Pair attacked buzzard. Outcome unknown (JC)

17-6-20

AM Pair attacked buzzard near the church. Outcome unknown (SP)

10.10 Pair attacked buzzard, thought to escape west (PE)

16.50 Pair attacked buzzard, thought to escape west (PE)

20-6-20

10.45 Buzzard flying north chased off by the tiercel (JC)

11.20 Pair gave alarm call and took off from the church heading north to where a distant buzzard was riding the thermals. (GM)

22-6-20

09.45 Pair took off east towards a pair of buzzards soaring high some distance away. No attempt made to attack them. (GM)

23-6-20

16.45 One of the adults sounded the alarm and took off NE toward a very distant buzzard, that drifted away further east (GM)

7–7-20

11.15 The falcon took to the air to ward of a passing buzzard heading west. No contact was made (JRM)

2021

4-4-21

11.45 The female left the nest to join the male in chasing off a buzzard, that was soaring above the spire. It escaped NW

11–5-21

11.45 The male breaks off from feeding the young to chase a distant buzzard. Twice he dived at the larger bird, which sidestepped easily, before drifting off to the west.

19–5-21

14.07 The male made contact with a buzzard, before they both disappeared into low cloud. The buzzard was eventually seen flying west (JRM)

01–6-21

13.40 The female went after a very high-flying red kite over St. James

2022

26-03-22

16.30 The peregrines reacted to a red kite drifting north over the church. Hed there been chicks in the nest, the outcome might have been different.

08-04-22

14.35 A passing buzzard prompted al alarm call by the male, which sent the female tumbling out of the nest. Together, they chased off the potential intruder.

25-05-22

13.00 A high-flying red kite drew the attention of the adult birds, but they didn’t pursue it.

04-06-22

12.30 A buzzard flying lazily close to the church was harrassed by our male. They flew out of view behind the church, with the peregrine returning shortly after, landing on the spire

17-06-22

13.00 A red kite appeared twice this morning, the first time low around the church, which sent the adult peregrines after it.

2023

10-06-23

10.15 The adults raised the alarm this morning when a buzzard flew too close to the church. Both adults set off in pursuit and harried the larger bird who kept clear with a few aerobatics.

2024

20-05-24

18.15 The female went after a passing buzzard. Much calling and shrieking, but the buzzard was unphased!

27-05-24

13.00 The male, on sentry duty on one of the cornets, called an alarm when a sparrowhawk drifted south, but 10 minutes later when a buzzard passed some distance away, our male set off in pursuit. Lost to sight, so I didn’t see the result of the confrontation

16-06-24

15.15 The two adults worked together to attack a passing Red Kite this afternoon. It ducked and dived, finally making its escape southeast over the town.

22-06-24

11.10 Mid-morning, both adults went after a passing Red Kiter it from above and below, however it didn't seem that the peregrines intended to kill it, which they could have easily done, and with a few feints, the kite drifted away southeast