Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
  Contents
  Index
WORLD BIRDS
  Contents
  Index

ANECDOTES

  Diurnal Biros of Prey
 
 
 

TRAITS
 Ratites
 Tinamous
 Cracids/Galli
 Waterfowl
   Screamers
   Ducks

 Penguins
 Loons
 Grebes
 Procellarids
   Albatrosses
   Petrels
   Storm-Petrels

Totipalmate Swm

   Tropicbirds
   Gannets/Boobies
   Pelicans
   Cormorants
   Anhingas
   Frigatebirds

 
Waders
   Herons
   Ibises
   Storks  

 NW Vultures
 Flamingos
 Raptors
 Gruiformes
   Buttonquail
   Bustards
   Cranes
   Rails

 Shorebirds
   Sandgrouse
   Plovers
   Oystercatchers
   Stilts
   Sandpipers
   Gulls/Terns
   Auks

 Pigeons
 Parrots
 Turacos
 Cuckoos
 Owls
 Frogmouths
 Nightjars
 Swifts/Humbd
 Colies
 Coraciae

   Hornbills
   Hoopoes
   Trogons
   Rollers
   Kingfishers
   Bee-eaters
   Jacamars/Puffbd

 
Pici
   Honeyguides
   Woodpeckers
   Barbets/Toucans

PASSERINES
   NZ WRENS
   OW SUBOSC

      Broadbills
      Pittas

 NW SUBOSC
   NW Flycatchers

   Becards
   Cotingas
   Manakins
   Antbirds
   Ovenbirds
   Woodcreepers
   Antthrushes
   Tapaculos 

 OSCINES
 Lyre-/Scrub-birds
 Bowerbirds
 Aust. Wrens
 Honeyeaters
 Scrubwrens
 Aust. Robins
 Kinglets
 Shrikes
 Vireos
 Whistlers
 Corvids
 Birds-of-Paradse
 OW Orioles
 Cuckoo-shrikes
 Fantails
 Drongos
 Monarchs
 Bush-shrikes
 Wattle-eyes
 Vangas
 Waxwings
 Dippers
 Thrushes
 OW Flycatchers
 Starlings
 Mimids
 Nuthatches
 N Creepers
 Wrens
 Gnatcatchers
 Tits/Parids
 Larks
 Swallows
 Leaf-Warblers
 Bulbuls
 Cisticolas
 White-eyes
 Babblers
 OW Warblers
 Flowerpeckers
 Sunbirds
 OW Sparrows
 Accentors
 Pipits
 Estridids
 Weavers
 Whydahs
 9-prim. Oscines

   Fringillines
   Carduelines
   Hawaiian Honycrp
   NW Sparrows
   NW Warblers
   Tanagers
   Cardinals
   NW Blackbirds

TOP

 
Accipitriformes / Falconiformes - Diurnal Raptors
 
Skip to:   
Accipitriformes, Falconiformes
Families: Accipitridae, Sagittariidae, Falcons and Caracaras
Subfamilies: Ospreys, Accipitrids, Other Subfamilies
Accipitrines: Kites, Sea-eagles, Accipiters, Buteos (Buzzards)
 
Species:   
Galapagos Hawk, Southern Caracara, Chimango Caracara
 
Images:   
Bald Eagle, Osprey, Mississippi Kite, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk,
Savannah Hawk, Gray Hawk, Lappet-faced Vulture,
Southern Caracara, Chimango Caracara, American Kestrel
 
  Diurnal Birds of Prey
Wiki     ToL     EoL
  One arrangement of raptors gaining wider acceptance is to include all families of the historic Order Falconiformes (except the falcons and caracaras) in the Order Accipitriformes (including the vultures). Falcons and caracaras remain as the sole representatives in the Order Falconiformes. DNA research suggest falcons are more closely related to parrots and passerines than the other diiurnal raptors.   The Tree of Life  follows this scheme. However, the Encyclopedia of Life places all diurnal raptors in an expanded Order Ciconiiformes.
   This scheme leads to the following classification:

Order Accipitriformes - Vultures, Accipitrines
 (including ospreys, kites, harriers, sea eagles, buteos, and eagles), Secretary Bird
Order Falconiformes - Falcons, Caracaras

 
  Order Falconiformes - Diurnal Birds of Prey
Wiki     ToL     EoL
EXAMPLE
 
This traditional order contains all of the diurnal birds of prey (contrasted with nocturnal birds of prey, the owls). It originally included the New World vultures (carrion-eaters, not raptorial). Our discussion retains the order minus the New World Vultures...

304 species, 76 genera (Sibley and Monroe, 1990). Clements (2007) lists 306 species. Dickinson (2003) lists 298 species with one extinct. These numbers are for the Falconides (without the vultures). See families for individual numbers.
    Raptorial species have talons and hooked bills - adapted to capturing, holding, and dismembering prey often held in the feet. Carrion eaters tend to have bare heads and long necks and lack sharp talons although they have hooked bills. They occur on all continents except Antarctica, on many islands, and extend north to the Arctic. With vultures and falcons removed, the group appears to be monophyletic.
   Size ranges from falconets (45g) to the largest eagles (up to 6 kg with a 2 m wing spread). The largest Old World vulture is the Himalayan Griffon (wing spread 2.8 m, weight up to 12 kg, ~25 lb). Males are often smaller than females and may be less brown.
   Their nostrils open into a fleshy area at the base of the bill known as a "cere." They are holorhinal with impervious nostrils. Their palate is desmognathous, approaching schizognathy. The pelvic muscle formula is A+ (except Sagittarius which is BXY+). Flexor tendons are type 3. They have two carotids, a diataxic wing. The oil gland is variable and their caeca are small. The syrinx is tracheo-bronchial (vutlures lack syringeal muscles). Birds in this order usually have 10 (rarely 9) primaries, 11-26 secondaries, and most have 12 tail feathers.  An underdown is present. Contour feathers have an aftershaft. Most have 14 cervical vertebrae. Most have a crop and a small gizzard. They have sharp eyesight (most receptor cells in the eye have a one-to-one projection path to the visual cortex in the mid-brain). Like most birds, they have color vision and are uniquely able to detect motion. They also have good hearing and may investigate distress calls or other sounds made by their prey. The Northern Harrier is apparently the only diurnal raptor that regularly uses sound to localize prey. Several New World vultures use a well-developed sense of smell to locate carrion.
   Most of these birds hunt animal prey which varies in size depending on the species. Large buteos take prey as large as foxes - smaller hawks may specialize on insects. Some kites feed on snails and accipiters eat mostly small birds. Old World vultures (remember, they are buteos, not cathartids) eat carrion and the Bearded Vulture eats bones and bone marrow. The Palm-nut Vulture feeds on palm fruit. The Osprey and sea-eagles eat fish.
   Diurnal birds of prey use various hunting techniques. They may ride thermals, soaring over the ground looking for prey. When live food is located they dive ("stoop") to catch it. Harriers fly low over fields and marsh, quartering the habitat looking (and listening) for prey which they catch in a steep dive. Others perch in trees or on poles, often at edges, and watch for prey which they catch in a quick flight. Accipiters may pursue birds through dense cover.
   Many hawks mate for life - most defend territories. Nest sites may be reused from year to year. In most cases the female does most of the incubating and the male provides food for her, and later the young. Young remain in the nest for extended periods of parental care (nidicolous).  Nestlings have two down plumages.
 
 
Bald Eagle
Young Bald Eagle,
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
.
Botany Island
                               SI Web
 
 
 

Migration
  
Many of our "diurnal birds of prey" are migratory and a number of species pass over our beaches during daylight hours  - often riding thermals (most small birds migrate at night and shorebirds migrate at any time of day or night)... Try reclining on a beach chair with a telescope pointed up during migration periods. Birds will be flying high and require educated and talented observation to identify the species.
   
   
   
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






   
    Banner - Osprey. POA Building. Landfall Way. Seabrook.