Birds of Prey: Behaviours, Species, and Adaptations

What are Birds of Prey?

A bird of prey is a carnivorous creature; a predator that relies on hunting and consuming other birds or animals for its survival. While numerous birds subsist on invertebrates like insects and worms, birds of prey primarily target larger vertebrates such as small mammals and fellow birds. 

One of their defining characteristics is their utilisation of powerful feet armed with sharp talons to capture and transport their prey, accompanied by a hooked beak to dispatch and access their food. Although most birds of prey pursue live prey, some, like vultures, also consume carrion.

Which birds are (and are not) Birds of Prey?

Birds of prey can be broadly classified into three unrelated groups: accipitriformes encompassing eagles, buzzards, hawks, ospreys, and harriers; falconiformes containing falcons; and strigiformes representing owls. Generally, owls are nocturnal hunters, while the rest are diurnal, active during the day. 

Distinguishable Birds of Prey Features?

Across various species such as eagles, buzzards, hawks, falcons, and owls, there exist distinct attributes that bestow upon them their prowess as apex predators. 

These features encompass wing structure, flight style and speed, feather type and coloration, agility, leg length, and more. However, what unites all birds of prey is their formidable feet and robust, hooked beak, essential for their hunting and killing strategies.

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