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The movements of 96 radio-tagged juvenile Common Buzzards Buteo buteo were studied during 3 years in Dorset, southern England. Contrary to previous studies which implied that Common Buzzards are territorial, we found that 39% foraged within 1 km of the nest during their first winter, presumably within their parents' home range. Most (72%) of those that did not disperse were recorded making brief excursions during August and September, before opting for a “stay-at-home” strategy. There was no significant difference between the sexes in the tendency to make excursions or disperse, but females dispersed further than males. Buzzards which dispersed early tended to settle significantly farther from their nests than did late dispersers. Long-term radio-tracking has shown that 72% of the dispersing birds returned towards their natal area in the following breeding season. Such philopatry may be an important hindrance to avian recolonization following local extinctions.