Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey
Wild Predators in Sky
What is a birds of prey?
Birds of prey are not the only birds that hunt for their food, nor the only birds that eat meat, or have hooked beaks or fly very well, but they are the only birds that combine all these characteristics, and with them, one very distinctive feature: They kill with their feet. They are called raptors, from the Latin rapture, to seize or grasp, because they seize their prey in their feet. Their lethal talons can snatch fish from the water, strike birds out of the air, and rip open animal quarry (prey). Like lions and tigers, raptors are “top predators”: They hunt other creatures, but nothing hunts them, except for other raptors – and humans.
Do Birds of Prey enjoy special preferred food?
Yes, Some raptor s will eat just about anything; others are specialists. One of the most specialized is the snail kite of Florida. It lives on a diet of water snails. Its beak has a long, curved hook with which to remove the snail from its shell.
Do you know about birds?
There are many many species and variety of Birds, like not every bird do fly. Like few birds do the hunting, know more about types of birds.
Birds has been Symbol and Standard
Many peoples have taken birds of prey as symbols of what they most revere: gods, freedom, the sun, royalty. Many nations, kings, and armies have taken birds of prey as their emblems. This eagle standard comes from the French army, c.1800.
Raptors – Birds of Prey
Raptors are BORN TO KILL
Birds of prey are perfect hunters. The tawny eagle pictured here is a superb flier and has the characteristic lethal raptor feet. Its curved beak and claws act like a knife and fork for tearing through flesh to eat the prey.
Ravens eat meat in much the same way as many birds of prey Raptors’ skill as hunters can work against them if the environment becomes polluted: If each animal they eat contains a tiny amount of pollutant, they end up taking in a large amount. So environmental damage often hurts them first.
Does Size matters in Raptors?
Yes, size does matters in raptors. Birds of prey are unusual in that the females are usually bigger than the males. (Scientists call this “reverse sexual dimorphism.”) The size difference varies. It is greatest in sparrow hawks, where the female is twice the size of the male. Vultures are one of the exceptions: Males and females are usually the same sizes, and male condors are larger than female condors. Female Raptor is 1/3 of Male Raptor.
The raptor families
There are raptors on every continent except Antarctica: Over 300 species of diurnal (day-flying) birds of prey, and about 130 owl species. Each of these species plays its own unique part in the ecosystem.
Scientists class all the day-flying birds of prey together in the “order” (group) Falconiformes, which contains five separate “families.” The owls have their own order, the Strigiformes.
Scientists give each order, family, and species a Latin name.
The local names for each bird change with language and region, but the Latin name is always the same so that scientists and others do not become confused.
Many meat-eating birds are not birds of prey. For example, magpies hunt and kill small birds. Ravens such as these, which belong to the crow family, have a diet similar to that of buzzards. They have strong, pointed beaks with which they kill young rabbits and even the occasional lamb. But only raptors kill with their feet.
Does Vultures hunt for food?
No, the motto of Vultures is CATCH IT WHEN IT’S DEAD
There is a major exception to the rule that birds of prey hunt their food: vultures. Vultures are specialized in scavenging, that is, finding dead animals, rather than hunting live ones. Other raptors will eat carrion (dead flesh) if they happen to come across it, but only vultures are carrion specialists. Most vultures spend much of their time soaring high in the sky, scanning a wide area for signs of death.