When a circling Buzzard spots meat, it will land and begin to eat it. Once done eating all Meats or Seeds in its vicinity, it will take off again. If the player approaches a Buzzard while it is eating, it will squawk in anger and peck at the player, causing damage. The Buzzard will not, however, pursue the player. When killed, Buzzards drop 1 Drumstick, 1 Morsel, and possibly 1 Jet Feather and possibly an extra Morsel.
Buzzards will spawn during all seasons and will come down for meats during the day or dusk. Killed Buzzards takes randomly from 1 to 2 segments to respawn from their map markers, although the Buzzard shadows will not reflect this.
If a starving player enters their vicinity, buzzards will land and watch the player, waiting for them to die. They will still fly away if attacked.
A Buzzard that has landed and is moving around does not trigger Sticky Webbing.
When a piece of meat is placed in the vicinity of a Buzzard shadow, it is possible one might fly down next to the meat. If the Buzzard is far away from it, it will hop slowly (like Rabbits do) towards the meat. Buzzards that are approached preemptively will fly away. When attacked before squawking in anger, Buzzards will either fly away or fight back.
Buzzards can take anywhere from 0.5 – 30 seconds to eat a single piece of meat, so caution must be taken if the player is hunting with little bait. If low on meat, one can use a single piece of meat surrounded by Seeds. If a Buzzard eats the meat very quickly, they will stick around for the nearby Seeds.
It is recommended to melee the Buzzard only once to get its peck on cooldown unless the player is positioned just right to hit the Buzzard an additional two times while it is landing. After it has landed one can then kite it with two hits in between pecks. Boomerangs and other ranged weapons are a safe bet as the Buzzards will not flee when attacked while eating.
Buzzards that are near each other will become hostile and peck each other to death. This can happen naturally when they land or be intentionally caused by the player pushing them. If the Buzzards are not within pecking distance, they will stand around squawking at each other indefinitely.
Below is the number of hits it takes with each weapon to kill Buzzards when playing with characters with a default damage modifier. The Weather Pain is not included due to the random nature of its projectile.
|No. of hits for||30||10||8||5||4||3||3-4||2 or 3||3||2||2||1|
- "Buzzard" can either refer to a number of broad-winged hawks or, usually in North America, a New World vulture, typically a turkey vulture. Since Klei is located in Canada, Buzzards of Don't Starve are based on the latter, and they appear to be and behave like vultures rather than hawks.
- Wickerbottom refers to it as Cathartes, which is a genus of New World vultures which includes the turkey vulture (aka buzzard), the lesser yellow-headed vulture and the greater yellow-headed vulture.
- Real buzzards hiss instead of squawk since they lack vocal chords.
- Buzzards may be seen one or two layers higher than the player, they can not be attacked but will still move around like normal, and can fly off. This makes them appear very large as they can be very close to the camera.
- Debug spawning a Buzzard causes a crash when the Buzzard flies from the spot it was spawned.
- Buzzards may spawn in the middle of the ocean, depending on how many spawn locations there are on the map.