The phrase: “birds of prey” usually brings up images of hawks and falcons and maybe eagles as well. But in reality if you are an earthworm the American Robin bob-bob-bobbin’ in the yard is a real predator. I guess that “birds of prey” might include thrushes, flycatchers, loons, all diving ducks, sandpipers, and most other birds as well. Very few eat only fruits, grains, or vegetables. But here we will look at some of the hunters, the killers, the swift, and merciless. Perspective is always important – remember that there is no right or wrong way to live or behave; opportunity and the resultant evolution drives and determines behavior. Those best adapted and most able, survive to breed. If you see the world from a plants perspective (and we will look at that in upcoming posts) almost everything seems to be a threat or a predator. But, again, perhaps as usual, I digress.
The images below are of a few local birds of prey – many of the images were taken in our yard and many of them, as well as a few others, are likely to be part of your daily life as well. Look around, you’ll see things.
There are several major groups of hunting birds; those with tearing beaks and sharp talons. The owls and hawks and falcons and osprey and eagles are very similar in many ways and different enough to be individually recognized by a third grader and separated by experienced taxonomists.