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A Bird of Prey or Raptor is a bird that hunts for food primarily using its talons. They display a characteristic curved tip to their beak and have superb vision. Raptors belong to the orders Accipitriformes and Falconiformes in several groups including:
  • Eagles are large birds with long, broad wings and massive legs. Booted eagles have feathered legs and build large stick nests.
  • Kites have long wings and weak legs. They spend much of their time soaring. They will take live prey but mostly feed on carrion.
  • Falcons are small to medium sized birds of prey with long pointed wings. Unlike most other raptors, they belong to the Falconidae rather than the Accipitridae. Many are particularly swift flyers. Instead of building their own nests, falcons appropriate old nests of other birds but sometimes they lay their eggs on cliff ledges or in tree hollows.
  • Owls are variable-sized nocturnal hunting birds. They fly soundlessly and have very acute senses of hearing and sight.
  • Harriers are large, slender hawk-like birds with long tails and long thin legs. Most hunt by gliding and circling low over grasslands and marshes on their long broad wings.
  • Hawks are medium-sized birds of prey that usually belong to the genus Accipiter (but see below);. They are mainly woodland birds that hunt by sudden dashes from a concealed perch. They usually have long tails.
  • Buzzards are raptors with a robust body and broad wings, or, alternatively, any bird of the genus Buteo (also commonly known as Hawks in North America);.
  • Vultures are carrion-eating raptors, found in both the Old and New World. They usually have heads which are bare of feathers.
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