A bird of prey is also known as a raptor or a hunter. It belongs to the group of birds which are carnivores and feed on other animals. Their list of victims includes all types of organisms, such as reptiles, mammals, rodents, amphibians and insects. These birds possess special features which make them capable hunters. These include sharp and hooked beaks, sharp claws and a keen eye-sight.

Following is a birds of prey list including some of the most common raptors found worldwide.

Owls

This nocturnal hunter is one of the most fascinating predatory birds found in the world. There are about 150 different species of owls found all around the globe. More informative facts about this bird are discussed below.

  • Different varieties of owls are found in all types of habitats. Various species exist on all continents except the Antarctic region where the temperature is too unfavorable for the survival of any living organism.
  • The forward-facing eyes of the bird give it a binocular vision – the use of both the eyes together for vision. It helps in focusing on prey with an enhanced perception of depth.
  • Members of some species possess asymmetrical ears which are located at different heights on the head of the bird. This arrangement helps the bird in pinpointing the exact location of sounds to catch prey.
  • Owls are popular for their ability to rotate their head at an angle of 270 degrees.
  • Owl may hunt and feed on other types of owls.
  • The biggest predatory bird found in the world is a type of owl – the Eagle owl. It can hunt considerably large animals, such as vervet monkeys and dears.

Falcons

A falcon is a medium-sized predatory bird which is popular for its spectacular flying ability. There are around 63 different falcon species found all over the world. The bird specially prefers to live in the temperate regions found in the Northern Hemisphere.

Some interesting falcon facts are discussed below.

  • A falcon may be 25 to 60 centimeters tall depending upon the type of species.
  • One of the most common types of predatory birds found in the world is a species of falcons – the peregrine falcon
  • It can change direction extremely quickly while flying with the help of its tapered wings.
  • The diving speed of a falcon can reach up to 200 mph. This makes it ranks as the world’s fastest organism.
  • The diet of a flacon includes many small animals such as mouse, small birds and fish.
  • The shape of the bird’s body is aerodynamic which allows it to glide through the air with extreme ease and grace.

Hawks

Hawks are formidable predators with about 270 species found in different parts of the world. It is popular for soaring high in the air. It is also identified by its screeching and echoing call. Hawks commonly feed on mouse, snakes, lizards and rabbits.

Following are some intriguing facts about this raptor.

  • The bird is identified by its sharp talons, strong and muscular legs and curved bills.
  • The most common hunting time for a hawk is dawn.
  • Hawks may start a fight with each other over food while they are still in the air.
  • The male hawk performs impressive tricks in the air in order to attract a female. Once they mate, they stay together the entire life.
  • Hawks have a color vision which makes them stand out from most other members of the animal kingdom.
  • The keen eye-sight of a hawk is eight times better as compared to humans.

Osprey

A common name on the birds of prey list is osprey. It is famous for its amazing fish catching capabilities. More facts about this skillful raptor are discussed below.

  • An osprey is also known by several other names including fish eagle, fish hawk or sea hawk.
  • It is found on all continents in the temperate regions as well as tropical parts of the world.
  • Around 99% of the diet of an osprey comprises fish. The other 1% includes rodents, amphibians, small birds, rabbits and hares.
  • Traits which make the bird a skillful fish catcher include reversible outer toes, closable nostrils for deep water dives and scales on talons which help in holding the caught fish.
  • The success rate for adult ospreys when they catch fish is between fifty and eighty percent, which is quite high.
  • The bird mostly nests near sources of fresh or salt water.

Eagles

Another popular name on the birds of prey list is the eagle. It is one of the largest and most powerful predatory birds and is famous for its keen eye-sight. More eagle facts are given below.

  • More than sixty different species of eagles are found in different parts of the world.
  • Members of a few species of eagles, such as the golden eagle, are known for hunting and killing animals much larger than themselves. These include wild cats, young deer, foxes and goats.
  • One of the most common types of eagles is the bald eagle which is easily identified by its white head and yellow beak.
  • Eagles stand out from most other types of predatory birds owing to their larger size, a heavier head and a stronger overall built.
  • The golden eagle is a ruthless raptor which is known for dropping down turtles onto rocks from a considerable height to break open their armors.
  • The bird is regarded as a symbol of power as well as freedom the world over.
  • In the wild, eagles have been known to live for as long as a span of twenty-nine years.
  • All of these predatory birds are formidable and ruthless hunters. Some hunt during the day while others, like the owl, set out looking for potential victims after sundown. Most of them are capable of killing small as well as considerably large animals. These carnivores play an important role in the environment by controlling the populations of pests like rodents and dangerous animals like snakes.

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