The genus Buteo includes numerous hawks or “buzzards” that are very diverse in their size, shape, and plumage. The group is sometimes called the “broadwings” due to their large broad wings that allow them to soar effortlessly on themals. In addition, they have short wide tails, large beaks, strong talons, and heavy feet.
These characteristics help them capture and hold relatively large prey. Though they often hunt from perches, they spend much of their time searching for prey from a soaring position. They have very acute vision with large eyes that can easily spot a field mouse a mile away. Their quarry consists of everything from insects and snakes, to birds and mammals. What is hunted is typicallly a function of what is available, as well as the size and level of experience of the hawk.