Any help in more accurately identifying this bird of prey is, as always, appreciated.
So, what is this? I would say that it's some variety of hawk or buzzard, maybe the common buzzard, buse variable in French, buteo buteo in Latin. Don't quote me on that. This one has been hanging out near the little pond behind our house, in the vineyard. It will circle and swoop, presumably hunting, or sit for a time on one of the posts, as it's doing here.
I was lucky that it perched for a good twenty minutes, long enough for me to get the camera and tripod, attach the telephoto lens, and frame the shot. I took it through a window from the house at a distance of a good 100 meters (about 325 feet). I cropped and adjusted the photo to highlight the bird a little better. When it finally took off, I was impressed by the wingspan, which was much bigger than I expected it to be. It's a pretty large bird!