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A bird of prey is a number of birds that are carnivores and hunt and kill other animals, or are scavengers, like vultures. They use their keen senses, especially vision, and their large talons and beaks that are powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh. The term "raptor" may refer informally to all birds of prey, or specifically to the diurnal group.

TypesEdit

  • Eagles tend to be large birds with long, broad wings and massive feet. Booted eagles have legs and feet feathered to the toes and build very large stick nests.
  • Kites have long wings and relatively weak legs. They spend much of their time soaring. They will take live vetebrate prey but mostly feed on insects or even carrion.
  • The Hawks are medium-sized birds of prey that usually belong to the genus Accipiter. They are mainly woodland birds that hunt by sudden dashes from a concealed perch. They usually have long tails for tight steering.
  • Buzzards are medium-large raptors with robust bodies and broad wings, or, alternatively, any bird of the genus Buteo (also commonly known as "hawks" in North America).
  • Harriers are large, slender hawk-like birds with long tails and long thin legs. Most hunt small vertebrates with a combination of keen eyesight and hearing, gliding and circling low over grasslands and marshes on their long broad wings.
  • Vultures are carrion-eating raptors of two distinct biological families, each occurring in only the Eastern Hemisphere (Accipitridae) or the Western (Cathartidae). Members of both groups have heads either partly or fully denuded of feathers.
  • Falcons are small to medium sized birds of prey with long pointed wings. Unlike most other raptors, they belong to the Falconidae rather than the Accipitridae. Many are particularly swift flyers. Instead of building their own nests, falcons appropriate old nests of other birds but sometimes they lay their eggs on cliff ledges or in tree hollows. Caracaras are a distinct subgroup of the Falconidae unique to the New World, and most common in the Neotropics - broad wings, naked faces and the appetites of a generalist suggest some level of convergence with either the Buteos or the vulturine birds, or both.
  • Owls are variable-sized, typically night-specialized hunting birds. They fly soundlessly and have very acute senses of hearing and low-light vision.

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