Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus


Taxonomic note
Recent studies found that the taxonomy of Buteo rufinus cistensis is not clear, and it is closer to Buteo buteo than to Buteo rufinus (Jowers et al. 2019). It has been suggested to name it North African Buzzard instead of Long-legged Buzzard (Jowers et al. 2019, MaghrebOrnitho 2019).

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Jowers, MJ, S Sánchez-Ramírez, S Lopes, I Karyakin, V Dombrovski, A, Qninba, T Valkenburg, N Onofre, N Ferrand, P Beja, L, Palma and R Godinho. 2019. Unravelling population processes over the Late Pleistocene driving contemporary genetic divergence in Palearctic Buzzards. Mol. Phyl. Gen. & Evol doi:
MaghrebOrnitho. 2019. North African Buzzard is not a Long-legged but an allospecies of Common Buzzard. Available at:
Porter, R. F.; Kirwan, G. M. 2010. Studies of Socotran birds VI. The taxonomic status of the Socotra Buzzard. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 130(2): 116-131.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2013 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2011 Least Concern
2008 Not Recognised
2004 Not Recognised
2000 Not Recognised
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 32,300,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 41,100,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 100000-499999 poor suspected 2021
Population trend Stable suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 7.37 - - -

Population justification: The European population is estimated at 13,800-22,900 pairs, which equates to 27,600-45,800 mature individuals (BirdLife International in prep.). Europe forms approximately 17% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 162,000-269,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. It is placed in the band 100,000 to 499,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The population is suspected to fluctuate in response to vole populations (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). The European trend is currently estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International in prep.), largely due to a northward range expansion (Keller et al. 2020). Jennings and Sadler (2006) estimated that the Arabian population had declined by c.5% over 10 years due to habitat loss, and predicted continuing habitat loss of <20% over the following 10 years (although the species may benefit from the resulting farmland habitat). There have also been declines in the resident race in northern Africa (Global Raptor Information Network 2021). Accounting for fluctuations and a potential shift in distribution, the global population trend for this species is estimated to be stable.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes Yes
Albania N Extant Yes Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes Yes
Austria V Extant
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes Yes
Bahrain N Extant Yes
Bangladesh N Extant Yes
Belarus V Extant
Belgium V Extant
Bhutan N Extant Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina V Extant Yes
Botswana V Extant
Bulgaria N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Burkina Faso N Extant Yes
Cameroon N Extant Yes
Cape Verde N Extant Yes
Central African Republic V Extant Yes
Chad N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes Yes
Croatia N Extant Yes
Cyprus N Extant Yes Yes
Czechia V Extant
Denmark V Extant
Djibouti N Extant Yes
Egypt N Extant Yes Yes
Eritrea N Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant Yes
Finland V Extant
France V Extant
Gambia V Extant Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes Yes
Germany V Extant
Ghana V Extant
Greece N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Hungary N Extant Yes Yes
India N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Israel N Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes
Jordan N Extant Yes Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes
Kuwait N Extant Yes Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes Yes
Lebanon N Extant Yes
Libya N Extant Yes
Malawi V Extant
Mali N Extant Yes
Malta V Extant
Mauritania N Extant Yes Yes
Moldova N Extant Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Morocco N Extant Yes Yes
Myanmar N Extant Yes
Nepal N Extant Yes Yes
Netherlands V Extant
Niger N Extant Yes
Nigeria N Extant Yes
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Norway V Extant
Oman N Extant Yes Yes
Pakistan N Extant Yes Yes
Palestine N Extant Yes
Poland V Extant
Portugal V Extant
Romania N Extant Yes Yes
Russia N Extant Yes Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes Yes
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes Yes
Senegal N Extant Yes
Serbia N Extant Yes Yes
Slovakia N Extant Yes
Slovenia V Extant
Somalia V Extant
South Sudan N Extant Yes
Spain V Extant
Sri Lanka V Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes Yes
Sweden V Extant
Switzerland V Extant
Syria N Extant Yes Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes Yes
Tanzania V Extant Yes
Togo V Extant Yes
Tunisia N Extant Yes Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes Yes Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes Yes
Uganda N Extant Yes
Ukraine N Extant Yes
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes Yes
Western Sahara N Extant Yes
Yemen N Extant Yes Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
North Macedonia Babuna gorge, Topolka gorge, and Crn Kamen
North Macedonia River Bregalnica
North Macedonia River Crna gorge
North Macedonia Demir Kapija Gorge
Azerbaijan Gekchai Bozdag mountains
Azerbaijan Gobustan area
Azerbaijan Mount Ilandag
Azerbaijan Mount Kargabazar and Mount Gush-gaya
Azerbaijan Korchai area
Azerbaijan Negram mountains
Azerbaijan Ordubad area
Azerbaijan Zuvand upland
Bulgaria Atanasovsko Lake
Bulgaria Studen Kladenets
Bulgaria Lomovete
Bulgaria Emine
Bulgaria Central Balkan
Bulgaria Kamchia Complex
Bulgaria Rayanovtsi
Bulgaria Kresna Gorge
Bulgaria Ponor
Bulgaria Zlatiata
Bulgaria Byala Reka
Bulgaria Radinchevo
Bulgaria Sakar
Bulgaria Kamchiyska Mountain
Bulgaria Provadiysko-Royaksko plateau
Bulgaria Suha Reka
Bulgaria Harsovska Reka
Bulgaria Derventski Heights
Bulgaria Kotlenska Mountain
Romania Niculitel and Babadag forest
Romania Hagieni forest
Greece Evros delta
Greece National Park of Dadia - Lefkimi - Soufli forest
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou)
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons
Greece Filiouri valley and eastern Rodopi mountains
Greece Kompsatos valley
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons
Greece Nestos gorge
Greece Mount Menoikio
Greece Mount Pangaio
Greece Artzan reservoir
Greece River Axios
Greece Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas rivers' deltas
Greece Lakes Volvi, Koroneia and Rentina Gorge
Greece Agios Mamas marsh
Greece Mount Itamos
Greece Tzena and Pinovo mountains
Greece Mount Voras (Kaïmaktsalan)
Greece Apsalos and Moglenitsa gorges
Greece Lakes Vegoritis and Petron
Greece Lakes Cheimaditis and Zazari
Greece Mount Grammos
Greece Mount Vourinos
Greece Aliakmonas gorge
Greece Antichasia mountains and Meteora
Greece Mount Kerketio (Koziakas)
Greece Kalamaki gorge and Zarkou mountains
Greece Kato Olympos, Tempi gorge and mount Ossa
Greece Mount Mavrovouni, Larisa
Greece Kalamas delta
Greece Amvrakikos gulf
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary
Greece Mount Othrys
Greece Mountains of central Evvoia
Greece Mount Ochi and surrounding marine area
Greece Mount Taygetos
Greece Divari Pylou (Gialova) lagoon and Sfaktiria island
Greece Southern Mani, mount Sangias and cape Tainaro
Greece Evrotas delta
Greece Mount Parnitha
Greece Northern Syros
Greece Mountains of Naxos
Greece Lakes Chortarolimni and Alyki, Moudros gulf, Diapori fen and Fakos peninsula, Limnos
Greece Kalloni Gulf, Lesvos
Greece Mount Kerkis, Samos
Greece Fournoi island
Greece Mount Dikaios, lake Psalidi and Alyki lagoon, Kos
Greece Tilos island and surrounding islets
Greece Thasos island and Xironisi islet
Greece Nisyros island and surrounding islets
Greece Chalki island and surrounding islets
Greece Western Milos, Antimilos and Polyaigos islands and surrounding islets
Greece Mounts Agia Dynati and Kokkini Rachi, Kefalonia
Greece Kythira island
Greece Ikaria island
Greece Lavreotiki peninsula and Patroklos islet
Greece Patmos island and surrounding islets
Greece Echinades, Kalamos and Atokos islands
Greece Islands and islets of northern Dodecanese
Greece Kalymnos, Telendos, Kalolimnos islands and surrounding islets
Greece Psili Ammos lagoon, Samos
Greece Lake Kalodiki, Margariti and Karteri marshes
Greece Antikythira island and surrounding islets
Greece Mount Ymittos
Greece Reservoirs of former lake Karla
Greece Lake Pikrolimni
Greece Paramythia mountains
Greece Tsamanta, Filiata, Farmakovouni and Megali Rachi mountains
Greece Southwestern Lesvos and Petrified forest
Greece Mount Lepetymnos, Lesvos, and surrounding marine area
Greece Gera gulf, Ntipi and Charamida marshes, Lesvos
Greece Paros and Antiparos islands and surrounding islets
Greece Valtou mountains
Greece Symi island and surrounding islets
Greece Asvestades - Vrysika area
Greece Mati wetland of Tyrnavos
Greece Psara and Antipsara islands and surrounding islets
Greece Thessaly plain
Greece Farsala area
Greece Samothraki island
Greece South forest complex of Evros prefecture
Greece Ios, Sikinos and Folegandros islands
Greece Western, eastern and southern Rhodes
Greece Northern Chios
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to
Hungary Gerje-sik
Russia (European) Uttinskaya area
Russia (European) Bogdinsko-Baskunchakski
Italy Manfredonia Gulf wetlands
Italy Cape Otranto and Cape Santa Maria di Leuca coast
Italy Costa Viola
Italy Mount Conero
Georgia Iori Region
Georgia Meskheti
Georgia Kolkheti
Serbia Sara mountain
Serbia Pcinja
Serbia Vlasina
Serbia Jerma
Serbia Stara mountains
Serbia Sicevo gorge
Armenia Khosrov Reserve
Afghanistan Hari Rud valley
Afghanistan Safed Koh
Lebanon Shouf Cedars Nature Reserve
Saudi Arabia At-Tubayq
Russia (European) Bulukhta area
Russia (European) Tazhinski liman
Russia (European) Kayakentski reserve
Russia (European) Kasumkentski reserve
Russia (European) Barchan Sarykum and Narat-Tyube
Russia (European) Talginskaya Valley
Russia (Central Asian) Tri Gusikhi
Russia (Central Asian) Karazjukski complex of marshes and lakes
Russia (Central Asian) Cheka mountain
Russia (European) Zolotarevskaya area
Bulgaria Kaliakra
Bulgaria Zhrebchevo Reservoir
Bulgaria Vrachanski Balkan
Bulgaria Sredna Gora
Bulgaria Pirin
Bulgaria Besaparski Hills
Bulgaria Sinite Kamani-Grebenets
Bulgaria Kamenski Bair
Bulgaria Ludogorie
Bulgaria Western Rhodopes
Bulgaria Western Strandzha
Bulgaria Karlukovski Karst
Bulgaria Arda Bridge
Bulgaria Batova
Bulgaria Mesta Valley
Bulgaria Osogovo Mountain
Bulgaria Vitosha Mountain
Bulgaria Trigrad-Mursalitsa
Bulgaria Adata-Tundzha
Bulgaria Vasilyovska Mountain
Bulgaria Nikopolsko Plateau
Bulgaria Belite Skali
Bulgaria Rupite
Bulgaria Studenets
Bulgaria Obnova Fish-ponds
Bulgaria Devetashko Plateau
Bulgaria Ruy Mountain
Bulgaria Zemen Gordge
Bulgaria Ivailovgrad Reservoir
Armenia Dsegh
Armenia Gndasar
Armenia Gorayk
Armenia Meghri
Armenia Noravank
Armenia Sardarapat
Russia (European) Shcherbakovskaya bend of Volga river
Lebanon Lake Qaraoun
Lebanon Yammouneh Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Mugodzhary
Kazakhstan Lower reaches of the Ashchyozek River
Kazakhstan Urda Sands
Kazakhstan North-western cliff faces of the Ustyurt Plateau
Kazakhstan Western cliff faces of the Ustyurt Plateau
Kazakhstan Kaundy Depression
Kazakhstan Basgurly-Zhazgurly Depression
Kazakhstan Karagie Depression
Kazakhstan Ortau upland massif
Kazakhstan Western edge of the Karakoyin and Zhetikonyr Sands
Kazakhstan Ayak-Bestau Hills
Kazakhstan Donyz-Tau cliff faces
Kazakhstan Aktau cliff faces
Kazakhstan Ulytau Mountains
Kazakhstan Middle reaches of the Sarysu River
Kazakhstan Lower reaches of the Sarysu River
Russia (European) Kissyk area
Russia (European) Floodplain of the Terek river near Staroshchedrinskaya
Turkmenistan Garashor
Russia (European) Buinakskaya depression
Russia (European) Nizhnekumskiye floods
Turkmenistan Badhyz
Russia (European) Outskirts of Arbali village
Turkey Obruk Plateau
Ukraine Upper of r.Mokra Sura
Ukraine Sinelnikov Complex
Ukraine Voloshans'ka dacha
Ukraine Ratsynska Dacha Zakaznik
Ukraine Elanetskyj step Reserve
Ukraine Regional Landscape Park Trakhtemyriv
Ukraine Serednyotomakivske reservior
Romania Măcin - Niculiţel
Romania Stepa Saraiu - Horea
Romania Dealurile Dorobanţu
Romania Stepa Casimcea
Romania Babadag wood
Romania Dobrogei gorge
Romania Băneasa - Canaraua Fetei
Romania Aliman - Adamclisi
North Macedonia River Topolka-river Babuna-river Bregalnica
North Macedonia River Raec valley
North Macedonia Taor Gorge
North Macedonia Osogovo Mountains
North Macedonia River Pchinja-river Petroshnica-river Kriva Reka
North Macedonia Boshavija
Cyprus Diarizos Valley
Cyprus Vouni Panagias
Russia (European) Ergeninskaya area
Kyrgyzstan Gorge Tash-Rabat
Morocco Oued Tahadart
Bosnia and Herzegovina Kupreško polje
Kazakhstan Chokpak Pass
Cyprus Adelphoi Forest - Papoutsa
Cyprus Ezousa Valley and Cliffs
Cyprus Cha Potami River
Cyprus Xeros Valley and Hanoutaris Cliffs
Egypt Suez
Russia (European) Yamskaya steppe and adjacent technical reservoirs
Kazakhstan Karasor Lake
Serbia Deliblatska pescara
Serbia Pester
Kazakhstan Sorbulak Lake System
Morocco Plage Blanche - Ras Takoumba
Morocco Lagune de Khnifiss
Morocco Zone Humide de Laayoune
Kazakhstan Zhusandala
Kazakhstan Saumalkol Lake
Kazakhstan Balyktykol Lake
Kazakhstan Arystandy
Kazakhstan Tassuat Lake
Kazakhstan Syrdarya Delta Lakes
Kazakhstan Chingiztau Mountains
Kazakhstan Eastern Kazakhstan uplands
Kazakhstan Zhagalbayly and Tuyemoynak Hills
Kazakhstan Karabas Mountains
Kazakhstan Arkaly Mountains
Kazakhstan Upper Charyn
Kazakhstan Altyn-Emel National Park
Kazakhstan Lower reaches of the Emba River
Kazakhstan Karakol Lake
Kazakhstan Shoshkakol Lakes
Kazakhstan Kapchagay Canyon
Turkmenistan Akjagaya
Serbia Gornji Visok and Vidlic
Bosnia and Herzegovina Duvanjsko polje

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable breeding
Forest Temperate suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Grassland Temperate suitable resident
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) suitable resident
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 3900 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 5000 m

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Negligible declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Other
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation
Agriculture & aquaculture Wood & pulp plantations - Agro-industry plantations Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects
Energy production & mining Mining & quarrying Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Pollution Garbage & solid waste Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Reduced reproductive success
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Unknown - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Buteo rufinus. Downloaded from on 26/06/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/06/2022.