Birds of prey, or raptors, include species of bird that primarily hunt and feed on vertebrates that are large relative to the hunter. Additionally, they have keen eyesight for detecting food at a distance or during flight, strong feet equipped with talons for grasping or killing prey, and powerful, curved beaks for tearing flesh. The term raptor is derived from the Latin word rapio, meaning to seize or take by force. In addition to hunting live prey, most also eat carrion, at least occasionally, and vultures and condors eat carrion as their main food source.
Although the term bird of prey could theoretically be taken to include all birds that primarily consume animals, ornithologists typically use the narrower definition followed in this page. Examples of animal-eating birds not encompassed by the ornithological definition include storks, herons, gulls, skuas, penguins, kookaburras, and shrikes, as well as the many songbirds that are primarily insectivorous.
The common names for various birds of prey are based on structure, but many of the traditional names do not reflect the evolutionary relationships between the groups.
Many of these English language group names originally referred to particular species encountered in Britain. As English-speaking people travelled further, the familiar names were applied to new birds with similar characteristics. Names that have generalised this way include: kite (Milvus milvus), sparrow-hawk or sparhawk (Accipiter nisus), goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), kestrel (Falco tinninculus), hobby (Falco subbuteo), harrier (simplified from "hen-harrier", Circus cyaneus), buzzard (Buteo buteo).
The taxonomy of Carl Linnaeus grouped birds (class Aves) into orders, genera, and species, with no formal ranks between genus and order. He placed all birds of prey into a single order, Accipitres, subdividing this into four genera: Vultur (vultures), Falco (eagles, hawks, falcons, etc.), Strix (owls), and Lanius (shrikes). This approach was followed by subsequent authors such as Gmelin, Latham, and Turnton.
Louis Pierre Veillot used additional ranks: order, tribe, family, genus, species. Birds of prey (order Accipitres) were divided into diurnal and nocturnal tribes; the owls remained monogeneric (family Ægolii, genus Strix), whilst the diurnal raptors were divided into three families: Vulturini, Gypaëti, and Accipitrini.
Thus Veillot's families were similar to the Linnaean genera, with the difference that shrikes were no longer included amongst the birds of prey. In addition to the original Vultur and Falco (now reduced in scope), Veillot adopted four genera from Savigny: Phene, Haliæetus, Pandion, and Elanus. He also introduced five new genera of vultures (Gypagus, Catharista, Daptrius, Ibycter, Polyborus)[note 1] and eleven new genera of accipitrines (Aquila, Circaëtus, Circus, Buteo, Milvus, Ictinia, Physeta, Harpia, Spizaëtus, Asturina, Sparvius).
The order Accipitriformes is believed to have originated 44 million years ago when it split from the common ancestor of the secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) and the accipitrid species. The phylogeny of Accipitriformes is complex and difficult to unravel. Widespread paraphylies were observed in many phylogenetic studies. More recent and detailed studies show similar results. However, according to the findings of a 2014 study, the sister relationship between larger clades of Accipitriformes was well supported (e.g. relationship of Harpagus kites to buzzards and sea eagles and these latter two with Accipiter hawks are sister taxa of the clade containing Aquilinae and Harpiinae).
These families were traditionally grouped together in a single order Falconiformes but are now split into two orders, the Falconiformes and Accipitriformes. The Cathartidae are sometimes placed separately in an enlarged stork family, Ciconiiformes, and may be raised to an order of their own, Cathartiiformes.
The secretary bird and/or osprey are sometimes listed as subfamilies of Acciptridae: Sagittariinae and Pandioninae, respectively.
Below is a simplified phylogeny of Telluraves which is the clade where the birds of prey belong to along with passerines and several near-passerine lineages. The orders in bold text are birds of prey orders; this is to show the polyphly of the group as well as their relationships to other birds.
Migratory behaviour evolved multiple times within accipitrid raptors.
The earliest event occurred nearly 14 to 12 million years ago. This result seems to be one of the oldest dates published so far in the case of birds of prey. For example, a previous reconstruction of migratory behaviour in one Buteo clade with a result of the origin of migration around 5 million years ago was also supported by that study.
Migratory species of raptors had a southern origin because it seems that all of the major lineages within Accipitridae had an origin to one of the biogeographic realms of the Southern Hemisphere. The appearance of migratory behaviour occurred in the tropics parallel with the range expansion of migratory species to temperate habitats. Similar results of southern origin in other taxonomic groups can be found in the literature.
Distribution and biogeographic history highly determine the origin of migration in birds of prey. Based on some comparative analyses, diet breadth also has an effect on the evolution of migratory behaviour in this group, but its relevance needs further investigation. The evolution of migration in animals seems to be a complex and difficult topic with many unanswered questions.
A recent study discovered new connections between migration and the ecology, life history of raptors. A brief overview from abstract of the publish paper shows that "clutch size and hunting strategies have been proved to be the most important variables in shaping distribution areas, and also the geographic dissimilarities may mask important relationships between life history traits and migratory behaviours. The West Palearctic-Afrotropical and the North-South American migratory systems are fundamentally different from the East Palearctic-Indomalayan system, owing to the presence versus absence of ecological barriers." Maximum entropy modelling can help in answering the question: why species winters at one location while the others are elsewhere. Temperature and precipitation related factors differ in the limitation of species distributions. "This suggests that the migratory behaviours differ among the three main migratory routes for these species" which may have important consevational consequences in the protection of migratory raptors.
Raptors are known to display patterns of sexual dimorphism. It is commonly believed that the dimorphisms found in raptors occur due to sexual selection or environmental factors. In general, hypotheses in favor of ecological factors being the cause for sexual dimorphism in raptors are rejected. This is because the ecological model is less parsimonious, meaning that its explanation is more complex than that of the sexual selection model. Additionally, ecological models are much harder to test because a great deal of data is required.
Dimorphisms can also be the product of intrasexual selection between males and females. It appears that both sexes of the species play a role in the sexual dimorphism within raptors; females tend to compete with other females to find good places to nest and attract males, and males competing with other males for adequate hunting ground so they appear as the most healthy mate. It has also been proposed that sexual dimorphism is merely the product of disruptive selection, and is merely a stepping stone in the process of speciation, especially if the traits that define gender are independent across a species. Sexual dimorphism can be viewed as something that can accelerate the rate of speciation.
In non-predatory birds, males are typically larger than females. However, in birds of prey, the opposite is the case. For instance, the kestrel is a type of falcon in which males are the primary providers, and the females are responsible for nurturing the young. In this species, the smaller the kestrels are, the less food is needed and thus, they can survive in environments that are harsher. This is particularly true in the male kestrels. It has become more energetically favorable for male kestrels to remain smaller than their female counterparts because smaller males have an agility advantage when it comes to defending the nest and hunting. Larger females are favored because they can incubate larger numbers of offspring, while also being able to breed a larger clutch size.
An American Prayer is the ninth and final studio album by the Doors. In 1978, seven years after lead singer Jim Morrison died and five years after the remaining members of the band broke up, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore reunited and recorded backing tracks over Morrison's poetry (originally recorded in 1969 and 1970). Other pieces of music and spoken word recorded by the Doors and Morrison were also used in the audio collage, such as dialogue from Morrison's film HWY: An American Pastoral and snippets from jam sessions.
The album also includes a composite live version of "Roadhouse Blues", splicing together performances at New York City's Felt Forum and Detroit's Cobo Hall, both captured during the Doors' 1970 Roadhouse Blues Tour. This version of the song later appeared on the In Concert compilation.Beneath the Eyrie
Beneath the Eyrie is an upcoming seventh album from American alternative rock band Pixies, scheduled for release on September 13, 2019 by BMG/Infectious.Bird of Prey (TV serial)
Bird of Prey is a British techno-thriller television serial written by Ron Hutchinson and produced by Michael Wearing and Bernard Krichefski for the BBC in 1982. It was directed by Michael Rolfe. The second series was co-written with Lee Montague.
The series starred Richard Griffiths and Carole Nimmons as Henry and Anne Jay: Henry is a humble civil servant who finds that he and his wife are drawn into a conspiracy involving the mysterious Le Pouvoir organisation. A sequel, Bird of Prey 2 followed in 1984.Bird of Prey (Uriah Heep song)
"Bird of Prey" is a song by British rock band Uriah Heep, from the group's US version of their 1970 debut album Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble (released as Uriah Heep in the United States) and 1971's album Salisbury. A different version of the song would also appear on the 2003 remaster of Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble. Although not released as a single, the song is regarded by many fans as one of the band's most popular songs. The song is the B-side of the band's first ever worldwide single "Gypsy".Boeing Bird of Prey
The Boeing Bird of Prey was a black project aircraft, intended to demonstrate stealth technology. It was developed by McDonnell Douglas and Boeing in the 1990s. The company provided $67 million of funding for the project; it was a low-cost program compared to many other programs of similar scale. It developed technology and materials which would later be used on Boeing's X-45 unmanned combat air vehicle. As an internal project, this aircraft was not given an X-plane designation. There are no public plans to make this a production aircraft. It is characterized as a technology demonstrator.Eastern buzzard
The Eastern buzzard or Japanese buzzard (Buteo japonicus) is a medium to large bird of prey that is sometimes considered a subspecies of the widespread common buzzard (Buteo buteo). some scientists treated is as a distinct species starting 2008, but most people still treat it as a subspecies. It is native to Mongolia, China, Japan and some offshore islands. And at least various birds winter in Southeast Asia. It's similar to the steppe buzzard.
It includes three subspecies:
B. j. japonicus: Mongolia, China, and Japan
B. j. toyoshimai: Izu Islands and Bonin Islands
B. j. oshiroi: Daito IslandsFalconer's knot
The falconer's knot is a knot used in falconry to tether a bird of prey to a perch. Some sources show this knot to be identical to the halter hitch, but with a specific method of single-handed tying needed when the other hand is occupied holding the bird.Hawk Conservancy Trust
The Hawk Conservancy Trust is a bird park and conservation charity that cares for and displays birds of prey. It is located in Weyhill, Hampshire, England, near to the A303 road and the town of Andover.
Founded as a zoo by local farmer Reg Smith and his wife Hilary, the park was incorporated as the Hawk Conservancy Trust in 2002. It is also the site of the National Bird of Prey Hospital, a veterinary hospital that takes in injured birds of prey.Hen harrier
The hen harrier (Circus cyaneus) is a bird of prey. The genus name Circus is derived from Ancient Greek kirkos, meaning 'circle', referring to a bird of prey named for its circling flight. The specific cyaneus is Latin, meaning "dark-blue".While many taxonomic authorities split the northern harrier and the hen harrier into distinct species, others consider them conspecific.It breeds in northern Eurasia. The term "hen harrier" refers to its former habit of preying on free-ranging fowl.It migrates to more southerly areas in winter. Eurasian birds move to southern Europe and southern temperate Asia, In the mildest regions, such as France and Great Britain.Klingon starships
In the Star Trek franchise, the Klingon Empire makes use of several classes of starships. As the Klingons are portrayed as a warrior culture, driven by the pursuit of honor and glory, the Empire is shown to use warships almost exclusively and even their support ships, such as troop transports and colony ships, are armed for battle. This contrasts with the exploration and research vessels used by Starfleet, the protagonists of the franchise. The first Klingon ship design used in The Original Series, the D7-class battlecruiser, was designed by Matt Jefferies to evoke a shape akin to that of a manta ray, providing a threatening and instantly recognizable form for viewers. The configuration of Jefferies's design featured a bulbous forward hull connected by a long boom to a wing-like main hull with the engine nacelles mounted on each wingtip. Though a variety of Klingon ships have appeared in Star Trek, their design generally conforms to this style. Most Klingon vessels were physically built as scale models, although later computer-generated imagery was used to create the models. In recent years, many of the original studio models have been sold at auctions.
All Klingon ships are equipped with some form of sublight engine, and most of these ships are equipped with superluminal propulsion technology called warp drive. Klingon vessels are usually depicted as being heavily armed, equipped with particle beam weapons called disruptors and photon torpedoes, an antimatter weapon, as primary offensive weaponry. Later Klingon ships use cloaking devices. For The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Klingon ships were designed by Rick Sternbach to reflect technology exchanges as a result of an alliance between the Klingons and Starfleet. In the prequel television series Enterprise, Klingon ships are designed to appear more primitive than those chronologically later in the franchise. The interior of Klingon vessels is utilitarian in nature: this is intended to mimic an old submarine. Klingon ship names are usually preceded by the prefix "IKS", an abbreviation for "Imperial Klingon Starship".Pallid harrier
The pale or pallid harrier (Circus macrourus) is a migratory bird of prey of the harrier family. The scientific name is derived from the Ancient Greek. Circus is from kirkos, referring to a bird of prey named for its circling flight (kirkos, "circle"), probably the hen harrier and macrourus is "long-tailed", from makros, "long" and -ouros "-tailed".It breeds in southern parts of eastern Europe and central Asia (such as Iran) and winters mainly in India and southeast Asia. It is a very rare vagrant to Great Britain and western Europe, although remarkably a juvenile wintered in Norfolk in the winter of 2002/2003. In 2017 a pair of pallid harriers nested in a barley field in the Netherlands; they raised four chicks.This medium-sized raptor breeds on open plains, bogs and heathland. In winter it is a bird of open country.Romulan
The Romulans () are a fictional extraterrestrial species in the American science fiction franchise Star Trek. They first appeared in the series Star Trek in 1966. As well as featuring in three episodes of that series, they were later used in the television series The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise, as well as the feature films Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) and Star Trek (2009). They also appear in various other spin-off media, including books and games.
The writer Paul Schneider created the Romulans for use in the 1966 Star Trek episode "Balance of Terror". As a basis, he considered what the ancient Roman Empire might have looked like had it developed to the point of spaceflight. Physically, the Romulans were presented as humanoid, but the show's make-up department gave them pointed ears to distinguish them from humans. In the series, which is set in the 23rd century, the Romulans were presented as having split from another alien species, the Vulcans, in the distant past. In contrast to the Vulcans, who were presented as peaceful and logic-oriented, the Romulans were depicted as militaristic, having founded an interstellar empire. The Romulans were used as antagonists for the series' protagonists, the Earth ship USS Enterprise, and as being in a hostile relationship to the United Federation of Planets, of which Earth was presented as a prominent member.
In 1987, the writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation—set in the 24th century—again introduced the Romulans as antagonists of the Federation. The show's designers gave the Romulans new costumes and added a V-shaped ridge on their foreheads. The writers of Deep Space Nine again included the Romulans, but presented them as allies of the Federation in the Dominion War of 2373 to 2375. In the film Star Trek: Nemesis, control of the Romulan Empire is presented as having been temporarily secured by one of its conquered species, the Remans. The 2009 film Star Trek depicted the Romulan homeworld, Romulus, being destroyed by a supernova in the year 2387; again, the film's designers altered the appearance of the Romulans, removing the V-shaped ridges. The impact of Romulus' destruction forms a plot-theme in the forthcoming Star Trek Picard.Salisbury (album)
Salisbury is the second studio album by British rock band Uriah Heep, released in February 1971 by Vertigo Records. It was produced by Gerry Bron.
Unlike their first album, songwriting credits for fully half of the record were attributed to Ken Hensley alone, as opposed to the debut's collaborative partnership of frontman David Byron and guitarist Mick Box. Soon after the release, drummer Keith Baker left the band, replaced by Ian Clarke (from another Vertigo band, Cressida). With Clarke, the band embarked on their first US tour, supporting Three Dog Night and Steppenwolf.Sunset (Bird of Prey)
"Sunset (Bird of Prey)" is a song by the British big beat artist Fatboy Slim, released from his 2000 album Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars. The single peaked at No. 9 in the United Kingdom, No. 20 in Norway, and No. 25 in Ireland.
The song samples Jim Morrison's vocals from the Doors song "Bird of Prey."Type 23 torpedo boat
The Type 23 torpedo boat (also known as the Raubvogel (Bird of prey) or the Möwe class) was a group of six torpedo boats built for the Reichsmarine during the 1920s. As part of the renamed Kriegsmarine, the boats made multiple non-intervention patrols during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s. During World War II, they played a minor role in the Norwegian Campaign of 1940; Albatros being lost when she ran aground. The Type 23s spent the next several months escorting minelayers as they laid minefields and escorting ships before the ships were transferred to France around September. Möwe was torpedoed during this time and did not return to service until 1942. They started laying minefields themselves in September and continued to do so for the rest of the war.
After refits in early 1941, the boats were transferred to the Skaggerak where they were assigned escort duties. Most of the surviving ships returned to France in 1942 and helped to escort the capital ships sailing from France to Germany through the English Channel in the Channel Dash. They helped to escort blockade runners, commerce raiders and submarines through the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay throughout 1942 and 1943. Seeadler was sunk escorting a commerce raider in early 1942. Greif, however, was refitting through all of 1942 and was then assigned to escort duty in Norwegian waters before joining her sister ships in France in mid-1943.
In 1944, the Type 23s were mostly occupied with laying mines. Greif was sunk by British aircraft and Kondor was badly damaged by a mine in May. The two surviving operational boats, Falke and Möwe, attacked Allied ships during the Invasion of Normandy in June with little success and they were sunk by British bombers later that month. Kondor, the last survivor, was wrecked by bombers at the end of July.Wedge-tailed eagle
The wedge-tailed eagle or bunjil (Aquila audax) is the largest bird of prey in Australia, and is also found in southern New Guinea, part of Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. It has long, fairly broad wings, fully feathered legs, and an unmistakable wedge-shaped tail.
The wedge-tailed eagle is one of 12 species of large, predominantly dark-coloured booted eagles in the genus Aquila found worldwide. A large brown bird of prey, it has a wingspan up to 2.84 m (9 ft 4 in) and a length up to 1.06 m (3 ft 6 in).