Wildlife Wednesdays: Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey are incredible creatures. They really do amaze use. If you have never seen a bird of prey up close, see them. Their size is amazing, along with their wing span. From the Bald Eagle to the Peregrine Falcon, raptors of all types are amazing. They inspired us to have the power of flight, for hundreds of years. I can remember the first time I saw an eagle and my breath was taken away. These creatures are stunning to the eyes. There is a reason why the Bald Eagle is one of the United States freedom.

There are hundreds of Birds of Prey and they  were originally classified by anatomical, structural (shape/build, environment, characteristics), however in recent years with the discover of genetics, the classification system is always changing. Some of these birds have impressive wingspans, such as the Golden Eagle, which can be anywhere from 5-7 feet.

These wings aren’t just used for flying either. They can act as a defense, a way to keep the animal cool, incubating eggs, camouflage and protection from impact. Impressive for wings! There are many different qualities of each bird and ways to classify them. The facts are better than fiction, as always.

They are overall divided into two families,  diurnal (day) and nocturnal (night, specifically owls).

Here are the list of birds of prey, divided by family types:

Order Falconiformes (Diurnal Raptors)

  • Family Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
  • Family Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
  • Family Accipitridae(Hawks and Eagles)
  • Family Pandionidae (Ospreys)
  • Family Sagittariidae (Secretary Birds)

Order Strigiformes (Nocturnal Raptors)

  • Family Tytonidae(Barn Owls)
  • Family Strigidae (Eared Owls)

Bald Eagle 1

An excellent website for more on the families is Raptors of the World.

Like all animals out there they need protection from who else, but ourselves. Always remember that if you see one in the wild, just view it’s beauty. If they have hatch-lings, they will protect them at all costs. Educate yourself 🙂

Sharp Eye golden eagle colored pencil drawing


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