Birds Of Prey Raptors

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Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh. In most cases, the females are considerably larger than the males.
birds of prey are formally classified into five families:
The list below is what I use for the guidelines for this group if your image was deleted from the group then it does not fall into any of these categories.

  • Accipitridae hawks, eagles, buzzards, harriers, kites and Old World vultures
  • Pandionidae the Osprey (sometimes classified as subfamily Pandioninae of the Accipitridae family)
  • Sagittariidae the Secretary Bird
  • Falconidae falcons and caracaras “Polyborinae”
  • Cathartidae New world vultures including condors.

The nocturnal birds of prey – the owls – are classified separately as members of two extant families of the order Strigiformes:

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                                          The Accipitridae Family

This Family is one of the two major families within the order Accipitriformes. Many well-known birds, such as hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures are included in this group.
The accipitrids are a family of small to large birds with strongly hooked bills and variable morphology based on diet. They feed on a range of prey items from insects to medium-sized mammals, with a number feeding on carrion and a few feeding on fruit. The Accipitridae have a cosmopolitan distribution, being found on all the world’s continents (except Antarctica) and a number of oceanic island groups. Some species are migratory.

There are around 220 species from this family. Here are some examples
snake-eagles (about 12 species) ,goshawks, sparrowhawks, and relatives (55 species),milvine kites (14 species) ,harrier hawks,harriers (16 species),buteonine hawks, true eagles and sea-eagles (100 species),honey-buzzards (14 species),elanid kites (8 species)

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                                          The Pandionidae Family

There is only one bird that is in this family
The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), sometimes known as the sea hawk, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching 60 centimeters (24 in) in length with a 1.8 metre (6 ft) wingspan. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings.

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The Sagittariidae Family

The Secretary Bird it is so distinctive that it was given its own family, Sagittarius serpentarius, it is a large, mostly terrestrial bird of prey. Endemic to Africa, it is usually found in the open grasslands and savannah of the sub-Sahara.
The Secretary Bird is largely terrestrial, hunting its prey on foot. Adults hunt in pairs and sometimes as loose familial flocks, stalking through the habitat with long strides. Prey consists of insects, small mammals, lizards, snakes, young birds, bird eggs, and sometimes dead animals killed in brush fires. Larger herbivores are not hunted, although there are some reports of Secretary Birds killing young gazelles.

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The Falconidae Family

The family is divided into two subfamiles, Polyborinae, which includes the caracaras and forest falcons, and Falconidae, the falcons, kestrels and falconets.
Falcons and caracaras are small to medium sized birds of prey, ranging in size from the Black-thighed Falconet, which can weight as little as 35 g, to the Gyrfalcon, which can weigh as much as 1735 g. They have strongly hooked bills, sharply curved talons and excellent eyesight. The plumage is usually composed of browns, whites, chestnut, black and grey, often with barring of patterning. There is little difference n the plumage of males and females, although a few species have some sexual dimorphism in boldness of plumage.
They differ from other Falconiformes in killing with their beaks instead of their feet. They have a “tooth” on the side of their beak for the purpose.
They are found across the world, absent only from the densest forest of central Africa, some remote oceanic islands, and the high Arctic and Antarctica.
Falcons and caracaras are carnivores, feeding on birds, small mammals, reptiles, insects and carrion.

There are around 60 species from this family
Here are some examples caracaras (2 species), brown caracaras (2 species), Laughing Falcon,forest falcons (7 species),pygmy-falcons (2 species),falconets (6 species),falcons, hobbies and kestrels (around 37 species)

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The Cathartidae Family

The New World vulture family Cathartidae contains seven species found in warm and temperate areas of the Americas. It includes five vultures and two condors.
All living species of New World vultures and condors are scavengers. Though their diet is overwhelmingly composed of carrion, some species such as the American Black Vulture have been recorded as killing live prey. Other additions to the diet include fruit, eggs, and garbage. An unusual characteristic of the species in genus Cathartes is a highly developed sense of smell, which they use to find carrion. They locate carrion by detecting the scent of ethyl mercaptan, a gas produced by the beginnings of decay in dead animals.

This family includes the Black Vulture, King Vulture, Turkey Vulture,Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Andean Condor,and the California Condor (which is critically endangered).

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The Strigidae Family

True owls or typical owls (family Strigidae) are one of the two generally accepted families of owls, the other being the barn owls (Tytonidae).
This large family comprises around 189 living species in 25 genera. The typical owls can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
While typical owls (referred to simply as owls) vary greatly in size, with the smallest species, the Elf Owl, being a hundred times smaller than the largest, the Eurasian Eagle Owl, owls generally share an extremely similar body plan. They tend to have large heads, short tails, cryptic plumage and round facial discs around the eyes.

Here are some members of this family Horned owls, Eagle-owls and Fish-owls(25 species),Earless owls(15 species),Crested Owl,Maned Owl,spectacled owls(3 species),Northern Hawk-owl,pygmy owls(30-35 species),Long-whiskered Owlet,Elf Owl,saw-whet owls(4 species),Australasian hawk-owls(20 species),Papuan Hawk-owl,Jamaican Owl, Striped Owl,eared owls(6-7 species) Fearful Owl, Black-and-white Owl, Black-banded Owl, Rufous-banded Owl, Spotted Owlet, Little Owl, Forest Owlet, and the Burrowing Owl

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The Tytonidae Family

Barn-owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long, strong legs with powerful talons.
The barn-owls’ main characteristic is the heart-shaped facial disc, formed by stiff feathers which serve to amplify and locate the source of sounds when hunting. Further adaptations in the wing feathers eliminate sound caused by flying, aiding both the hearing of the owl listening for hidden prey and keeping the prey unaware of the owl.
The barn owls are a wide ranging family. They live in a wide range of habitats from deserts to forests, and from temperate latitudes to the tropics. The majority of the 16 living species of barn owls are poorly known.
Five species of barn-owl are threatened

Here are some examples from this family (the ones indicated in bold are probably extinct) Greater Sooty-owl, Lesser Sooty-owl, Australian Masked-owl, Golden Masked-owl, Lesser Masked-owl, Manus Masked-owl, Taliabu Masked-owl, Minahassa Masked-owl, Sulawesi Owl, Barn Owl, Ashy-faced Owl, Madagascar Red Owl, African Grass-owl, Australasian Grass-owl, Oriental Bay-owl, Congo Bay-owl, Cave-nesting Masked Owl, Buru Masked-owl, Peleng Masked Owl, Samar Bay-owl, Eastern Barn Owl

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