Despite its English name, this species is more closely related to kites of the genera Leptodon and Chondrohierax than to true buzzards in Buteo. The binomen is due to Linné. It is derived from Ancient Greek pernes περνης, a term used by Aristotle for a bird of prey, and Latin apivorus "bee-eating", from apis, "bee" and -vorus, "-eating". In fact, bees are much less important than wasps in the bird's diet.
Common Buzzard is an abundant species across most of Britain. However, European Honey Buzzard is much scarcer and represents a real confusion risk. Andy Stoddart provides top tips on how to separate the two.