This study analizes the geographic variation in Buteo buteo from the mid-Atlantic and Mediterranean islands, based on an external morphological analysis of 143 museum specimens. I review the taxonomic status of these populations. Dimensions and plumage characters show the subspecies B. b. rothschildi (Azores) and B. b. arrigonii (Sardinia) are clearly subspecifically distinct. B. b. insularum (Canaries) has diagnostic plumage differences sufficient to recognize its subspecific status. B. b. harterti (Madeira) is similar to nominate buteo in all variables compared. B. b. bannermani (Cape Verdes) is similar in plumage to nominate buteo, however, there is inadequate material to make any judgment on its taxonomic status. Three specimens examined, one from the Cape Verdes, one from the Canaries, and one from Madeira, resemble the Long-legged buzzard B. rufinus cirtensis. I suggest that the North African populations of B. rufinus cirtensis wander to these offshore islands of the mid-Atlantic.