Buzzard, the English name of the buteo, a genus of birds, and especially of three species. The turkey buzzard is more a carrion vulture than a raptorial bird. They are natives of our Southern States, where they are very useful as scavengers, and are so much appreciated in this regard that in most of the States they are protected by law. In consequence they grow quite tame, and in some places may be considered almost a domesticated fowl. They are about the size of a common turkey, and the species gets its name from a distant resemblance between the two. They are of a dirty black color, and are from 25 to 36 inches long, having an immense span of wing (proportionate), being remarkable for their powerful and graceful flight. Its nest is a mere hollow in the ground with a rampart of loose, dead branches around it. These birds may be seen by the hundreds in one locality, hovering over and lighting upon the carcass of a dead animal. They are rarely found N. of Pennsylvania. After the terrible disaster in Galveston, Tex., in 1900, there was an entire disappearance from that city of these useful birds. The brown buzzard, called also the glead, glede, glade, kite, or puttock, feeds on small mammalia, birds, lizards, worms, and insects. It makes its nest in trees and ledges of rock.


Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Buz"zard (?), n.[O.E. busard, bosard, F. busard, fr. buse, L. buteo, a kind of falcon or hawk.]

1. Zool.

A bird of prey of the Hawk family, belonging to the genus Buteo and related genera.

⇒ The Buteo vulgaris is the common buzzard of Europe. The American species (of which the most common are B. borealis, B. Pennsylvanicus, and B. lineatus) are usually called hen hawks. -- The rough-legged buzzard, or bee hawk, of Europe (Pernis apivorus) feeds on bees and their larvae, with other insects, and reptiles. -- The moor buzzard of Europe is Circus aeruginosus. See Turkey buzzard, and Carrion buzzard.

Bald buzzard, the fishhawk or osprey. See Fishhawk.

2.

A blockhead; a dunce.

It is common, to a proverb, to call one who can not be taught, or who continues obstinately ignorant, a buzzard. Goldsmith.

 

© Webster 1913.


Buz"zard, a.

Senseless; stupid. [R.& Obs.] Milton.

 

© Webster 1913.

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