A bird that kills for food and has sharp talons and a sharp curved beak. Owls, eagles, and hawks are birds of prey. The larger hawks and eagles prey on small mammals, like rodents and other vertebrates.
Types of birds of prey
Among the best-known birds are the birds of prey. Some, including hawks, eagles, and falcons, are active during the daytime, Others, notably owls, are nocturnal, or active at night. Birds of prey have hooked beaks, strong talons or claws on their feet, and keen eyesight and hearing. The larger hawks and eagles prey on small mammals, such as rodents and other vertebrates. Some birds of prey, such as the osprey and many eagles, eat fish. Falcons eat mainly insects, and owls, depending on the species, have diets ranging from insects to fish and mammals. Scavengers that feed on dead animals are also considered birds of prey. These include relatives of eagles called Old World vultures, which live in Eurasia and Africa, and the condors and vultures of North and South America.
Examples of species
The Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle which is a large eagle found in North America, identifiable by its white head and tail. The national symbol of the United States, it is also called the American eagle. The species nearly went extinct in much of the United States in the 1960s from effects of the pesticide DDT. As a result of legal protection and reintroduction programs, the bald eagle has made a recovery in many areas where it once lived. In 2007 it was removed from the list of species considered threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, bird of prey.
The Condor is commonly is commonly known for two species of large vultures, the Andean condor and the California condor. Condors are among the rarest birds in the world their populations have declined dramatically in the 20th century due to excessive hunting, lead poisoning, and other causes. Like other vultures, condors have sharply hooked bills and strong feet with long sharp claws. Unlike other birds, however, bird of prey condors lack a syrinx (voice box), and can utter only soft hissing sounds. Condors will sometimes attack living prey, but they usually feed on animal carcasses.
The eagle is a large bird of prey that is active during the daytime. Like other birds of prey, such as hawks and vultures, eagles hunt, kill, and eat other animals. Eagles are found throughout the world except in Antarctica and on some remote ocean islands. Only two kinds of eagles live in North America: the golden eagle and the bald eagle. bird of prey Among the largest eagles in the world are the harpy eagle of Latin America and the Philippine eagle of Asia. These birds have wingspans as great as 2.5 m (8 ft) and weigh as much as 9 kg (20 lbs). In most eagle species, the female is slightly larger than the male.