This paper reviews the geographic variation in the japonicus-group ) of Buteo buteo. Four subspecies are distinguished, varying in size, plumage design and colour. Of these, three are morphologically distinctive; burmanicus distributed in northeastern Eurasia, refectus a disjunct population breeding along the Himalayan mountain range from Kashmir to Tibet, japonicus breeding on the main Japanese islands. Buzzards from Bonin Islands, (toyoshimai) are recognized but considered marginally separable from those from Japan.