Definition of birds of prey :
Birds Of Prey are predatory birds that feed on other animals, such as birds, small mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians, and large insects, the American Condor Eagle is one of the largest and most powerful birds of prey, and birds of prey are classified into two species, namely:
Falconry species :
These birds of prey are also called “Raptors”, a word derived from the Latin word (Raptare), which means to seize and take.
Species of owls :
An example of a bird of prey from the family of night owls ( Strigiformes) is a bird-owl.
Characteristics of birds of prey :
Birds of prey possess :
A number of characteristics and distinctive features can be summarized as follows:
- Birds of Prey have sharp claws, which are powerful nails that are used to nail prey by tearing off its tough skin.
- Birds of prey control their legs used for hunting through powerful muscles capable of killing large animals by relying on them.
- The legs of some species of birds of prey consist of dry scaly skin in the area of the toes, and this is intended to protect them from scratches and bites that may be exposed to them from prey while pouncing on them, and feathers also cover the legs of some other species.
- Birds of prey are characterized by having strong and sharp beaks, in addition to being hooked, these beaks are used as sharp knives to tear and cut prey.
- The beak of a bird of prey differs depending on the type of food it relies on, the American Locust Hawk has a short beak that helps it eat insects and mice, while the Eagle’s beak is strong and heavy, to facilitate tearing large meat.
- Birds of Prey have distinctive eyes with a piercing forward look; these birds use both eyes together to estimate distances and facilitate the task of hunting, and birds of Prey can be classified based on their day or night vision into two categories.
Mating of birds of prey :
Birds of prey are generally classified as social, so the mating process is easy for them, especially when there are numbers of them together, and one of the distinctive features that appear during the mating season is the apparent aggressiveness in order to protect the nests and the territories where they settle, and this trait is also common to both males and females.
The mating and nesting seasons of birds of prey vary depending on their location on the Earth’s surface, as American Eagles found in the southeastern regions nest during the fall seasons, for example, while the Eagles of the Western states nest at the beginning of the year.
For example, the bald eagle begins this with a flight of pursuit, and it can perform some aerial performances that include soaring and diving in the air, and its rituals end with locking its claws on the claws of its partner to rotate while flying, and falling towards the ground afterward.
Reproduction of birds of prey :
Birds of prey vary in reproductive age, as small-sized species begin to reproduce when they reach a younger age than large-sized birds, and several factors play in delaying the reproductive age, such as the abundance of food, or the abundance of suitable places for reproduction, and one of the distinctive aspects of daytime birds of Prey is that they take one partner for the duration of their life, so multiplicity is rare among them.
Males are usually concerned with building nests, in addition to the possibility of some species of females participating in this sometimes, and high trees or cliffs are usually suitable places to start, and it is worth noting that Eagles and Hawks do not build new nests, but Eagles scrape trees to nest inside them, while Hawks are looking for old nests to use directly.
Birds of prey reproduce once a year, and they can also reproduce twice if the eggs are unsuccessful the first time, and egg laying is carried out in stages according to their numbers, but the first responsible for incubation is the female, and the males of some species participate in this until the eggs hatch over two days or more.
The number of eggs varies depending on the type of bird
The most famous species of birds of prey :
There are many examples of birds of prey, the most famous of which are the following:
Bald Vulture bird :
The bald eagle can fly at an altitude of 3048 meters, and its speed reaches (30-35) miles per hour, and it is one of the birds that have the ability to swim, fish, and is found in all of the United States, except the state of Hawaii.
Turkey vulture bird :
The turkey vulture is one of the most famous species of birds of prey that feeds on carcasses and carrion (inedible meat is the remains of animal meat), it has a bald head, a strong sense of smell, its name came from its red head, on which there are no feathers, resembles the head of a turkey, and its speed is estimated at about 7-9 km/h.
Prairie falcon bird :
The prairie falcon is found in western North America, and southwestern Canada, this bird searches for its prey only during the day, and from the animals, it feeds on: squirrels, small birds, reptiles, and insects, and can also fly at a speed of up to 300 km/h.
The Buzzard :
The goshawk is commonly found in forests, and is widespread widely in North America, and is characterized by its slender body, and round wings, in addition to its long tail, which enables it to fly excellently, and at high speed, and the goshawk generally hunts other birds and mammals to feed on them.
The hoverboard :
The HOVERFLY is a large-sized bird that feeds on its mammalian prey and settles down, as it can easily find it, spreading in urban or suburban areas with low population densities, and can fly at a speed of about 54.81 M/s.
The Eagle bird :
This is a medium-sized bird of Prey, which feeds on rodents and mammals, and is also characterized by its hovering over prey during hunting, these birds are distributed around the world, preferring low flying near open grasslands and swamps, at speeds ranging from 30-38 km/h.
Black humpback bird :
The black humpback bird (Kites) is famous for its small or medium size, and it is common in the regions of North America, except for the white-tailed black humpback that lives along the Pacific Coast, and this bird feeds on various prey, such as birds, insects, and reptiles, and its speed is estimated at about 183 km/h.
Vulture Vulture :
Osprey bird ( Osprey bird) lives on various continents of the world except for Antarctica, feeds mainly on fish, and is also characterized by long wings, looks very much like a bald eagle, and this type of bird flies at a speed of about 128 km/h.
Owl Bird :
The owl common appears during night periods to hunt, and it is helped by the wonderful senses of hearing and sight, and it is also one of the slow birds, as the speed of horned owls is about 13 M/S, and it is one of the fastest types of owls, and it lives in various parts of the world and various environments, except Antarctica.
The sparrowhawk (Hawks) is one of the widespread birds in Britain and feeds mainly on small birds, such as songbirds, and generally flies at a speed of 30-40 km/h, and can also fly at a speed of up to 50 km/h.